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Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics have a host of applications for wound where can i get lioresal healing, regenerative medicine and biosensing. A new device inspired by an octopus's sucker rapidly transfers delicate tissue or where can i get lioresal electronic sheets to the patient, overcoming a key barrier to clinical application, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and collaborators."For the last few decades, cell or tissue sheets have been increasingly used to treat injured or diseased tissues. A crucial aspect of tissue transplantation surgery, such as corneal tissue transplantation surgery, is surgical gripping and safe transplantation of soft tissues.

However, handling these living substances remains a grand challenge because they are fragile and easily crumple when picking where can i get lioresal them up from the culture media," said study leader Hyunjoon Kong, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Illinois.Kong's group, along with collaborators at Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chung-Ang University in South Korea, and the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology, published their work in the journal Science Advances.Current methods of transferring the sheets involve growing them on a temperature-sensitive soft polymer that, once transferred, shrinks and releases the thin film. However, this process takes 30-60 minutes to transfer a single sheet, requires skilled technicians and runs the risk of tearing or wrinkling, Kong said."During surgery, surgeons must minimize the risk where can i get lioresal of damage to soft tissues and transplant quickly, without contamination. Also, transfer of ultrathin materials without wrinkle or damage is another crucial aspect," Kong said.Seeking a way to quickly pick up and release the thin, delicate sheets of cells or electronics without damaging them, the researchers turned to the animal kingdom for inspiration.

Seeing the way an octopus or squid can pick up both wet and dry objects of all shapes with small pressure changes in their muscle-powered suction cups, rather than a sticky chemical adhesive, gave the researchers an idea.They designed a manipulator made of a temperature-responsive where can i get lioresal layer of soft hydrogel attached to an electric heater. To pick up a thin sheet, the researchers gently heat the hydrogel to shrink it, then press it to the sheet and turn off the heat. The hydrogel expands slightly, creating suction with the soft where can i get lioresal tissue or flexible electronic film so it can be lifted and transferred.

Then they gently place the thin film on the target and turn the heater back on, shrinking the hydrogel and releasing the sheet.The entire process takes about 10 seconds.Next, the researchers hope to integrate sensors into the manipulator, to further take advantage of their soft, bio-inspired design."For example, by integrating pressure sensors with the manipulator, it would be possible to monitor the deformation of target objects during contact and, in turn, adjust the suction force to a level at which materials retain their structural where can i get lioresal integrity and functionality," Kong said. "By doing so, we can improve the safety and accuracy of handling these materials. In addition, we aim to examine therapeutic efficacy of cells and tissues transferred by the soft manipulator."The National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense Vision Research Program and the Jump Applied Research in Community Health through Engineering and Simulation endowment supported this work.American and Polish where can i get lioresal scientists, reporting Oct.

16 in the journal Science Advances, laid out a novel rationale for COVID-19 drug design -- blocking a molecular "scissor" that the virus uses for virus production and to disable human proteins crucial to the immune response.The researchers are from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and the Wroclaw University of Science and where can i get lioresal Technology. Information gleaned by the American team helped Polish chemists to develop two molecules that inhibit the cutter, an enzyme called SARS-CoV-2-PLpro.SARS-CoV-2-PLpro promotes infection by sensing and processing both viral and human proteins, said senior author Shaun K. Olsen, PhD, where can i get lioresal associate professor of biochemistry and structural biology in the Joe R.

And Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio."This enzyme executes a double-whammy," Dr. Olsen said where can i get lioresal. "It stimulates where can i get lioresal the release of proteins that are essential for the virus to replicate, and it also inhibits molecules called cytokines and chemokines that signal the immune system to attack the infection," Dr.

Olsen said.SARS-CoV-2-PLpro cuts human proteins ubiquitin and ISG15, which help maintain protein integrity. "The enzyme acts like a molecular scissor," Dr where can i get lioresal. Olsen said.

"It cleaves ubiquitin and ISG15 away from other proteins, which where can i get lioresal reverses their normal effects."Dr. Olsen's team, which recently moved to the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio from the Medical University of South Carolina, solved the three-dimensional structures of SARS-CoV-2-PLpro and the two where can i get lioresal inhibitor molecules, which are called VIR250 and VIR251. X-ray crystallography was performed at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago."Our collaborator, Dr.

Marcin Drag, where can i get lioresal and his team developed the inhibitors, which are very efficient at blocking the activity of SARS-CoV-2-PLpro, yet do not recognize other similar enzymes in human cells," Dr. Olsen said where can i get lioresal. "This is a critical point.

The inhibitor is specific for this one viral enzyme and doesn't cross-react with human enzymes with a similar function."Specificity will be a key determinant of therapeutic where can i get lioresal value down the road, he said.The American team also compared SARS-CoV-2-PLpro against similar enzymes from coronaviruses of recent decades, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS. They learned that SARS-CoV-2-PLpro processes ubiquitin and ISG15 much differently than its SARS-1 counterpart."One of the key questions is whether that accounts for some of the differences we see in how those viruses affect humans, if at all," Dr. Olsen said.By understanding similarities and differences of these enzymes in various coronaviruses, it may where can i get lioresal be possible to develop inhibitors that are effective against multiple viruses, and these inhibitors potentially could be modified when other coronavirus variants emerge in the future, he said.A new study by UBC researchers is set to change international treatment recommendations for people who are newly diagnosed with HIV -- an update that could affect nearly two million people per year worldwide.The study, published today by The Lancet in the journal EClinicalMedicine, was commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of a planned update to its guidelines for HIV antiretroviral treatment (ART).

The study found that dolutegravir is the optimal medication for first-line treatment for people newly diagnosed with HIV, a choice that has not been clear over the past several years."Research supporting the 2016 WHO guidelines suggested that dolutegravir was effective and well tolerated, but its efficacy and safety among key populations, such as pregnant women and people living with both HIV where can i get lioresal and tuberculosis (TB), remained unclear," said the study's lead author, Dr. Steve Kanters, who completed the research as a PhD candidate in UBC's School of Population and Public Health (SPPH). "In 2018, new research warned of a potentially serious increase in risk of neural tube defects in the children of women who became pregnant while taking this treatment."The risk of adverse reaction meant that, although dolutegravir where can i get lioresal was found to be favourable compared to other options, it was only recommended as an alternative, with an antiretroviral called efavirenz recommended as the primary treatment.The study team, which included Dr.

Nick Bansback, associate professor at SPPH, where can i get lioresal Dr. Aslam Anis, professor at SPPH and director of the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), and Dr. Ehsan Karim, assistant professor at SPPH, completed a network meta-analysis of research stemming from 68 available antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinical trials.They found dolutegravir was where can i get lioresal superior to efavirenz in most outcomes, including viral suppression, tolerability, and safety.

According to Kanters, the increased odds of viral suppression with dolutegravir could have a significant impact on achieving international goals for HIV treatment. advertisement "We found about a five per cent increase in the probability of viral suppression, which means that more people who start treatment will be able to successfully control their HIV," he said.Another key attribute of dolutegravir is that it is effective in people who are resistant to NNRTI-class antiretrovirals, like efavirenz, a problem that is becoming increasingly common.The analysis also showed that dolutegravir and efavirenz had similar rates of adverse events for pregnant women -- the increased risk of neural tube defects for dolutegravir was estimated to be less than 0.3 per cent."The new evidence on neural tube defects show that the risk with dolutegravir is much more tolerable than previously thought and should quell the initial worry about this drug," where can i get lioresal said Kanters."Dolutegravir appears to be here to stay as the preferred treatment for people newly diagnosed with HIV," he said. "However, it is important to recognize the good that efavirenz has done over the past two decades, as it helped lead the ART scale-up around the world."Despite the many benefits of dolutegravir, dolutegravir use was associated with increased weight gain, a side effect that where can i get lioresal could increase the risk of aging-associated comorbidities, like heart attack or stroke."In many places, well-treated HIV has become a chronic condition and we are now seeing people living long lives with HIV," said Kanters.

"The research community will continue to monitor the effects dolutegravir may have on the healthy aging process."While this study is specifically focused on the optimal treatment for people newly diagnosed with HIV, an upcoming publication will review the evidence in support of switching to dolutegravir for people whose first treatment choice has been unsuccessful in controlling their infection. This recommendation where can i get lioresal could mean improved treatment for the many people living with HIV around the world who are unable to achieve viral suppression despite being on treatment.People with multiple sclerosis (MS) gradually develop increasing functional impairment. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now found a possible explanation for the progressive course of the disease in mice and how it can be reversed.

The study, which is published in Science Immunology, can prove valuable to future treatments.MS is a chronic inflammatory disease where can i get lioresal of the central nervous system (CNS) and one of the main causes of neurological functional impairment.The disease is generally diagnosed between 20 and 30 years of age. It can cause severe neurological symptoms, such as loss of sensation and trembling, where can i get lioresal difficulties walking and maintaining balance, memory failure and visual impairment.MS is a life-long disease with symptoms that most often gradually worsen over time.In the majority of cases the disease comes in bouts with a certain amount of subsequent recovery. A gradual loss of function with time is, however, inevitable.

Research has made great progress in treatments that reduce the frequency and damaging effects where can i get lioresal of these bouts."Despite these important breakthroughs, the disease generally worsens when the patient has had it for 10 to 20 years," says Maja Jagodic, docent of experimental medicine at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and the Centre for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. "There is currently only one, recently approved, where can i get lioresal treatment for what is called the secondary progressive phase. The mechanisms behind this progressive phase require more research."Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now shown that recovery from MS-like symptoms in mice depends on the ability of the CNS's own immune cells -- microglia -- to break down the remains of damaged cells, such as myelin.The processes was interrupted when the researchers removed a so-called autophagy gene, Atg7.

Autophagy is a process where cells normally break down and recycle their own proteins and other structural components.Without Atg7 the ability of the microglia to clean away tissue where can i get lioresal residues created by the inflammation was reduced. These residues accumulated over time, which is a possible explanation for the progressiveness of the disease.The study also shows how microglia from aged mice resemble the cells from young mice that lacked Atg7 in terms of deficiencies in this process, which had a negative effect on the course of the disease.This is a significant result since increasing age is an important risk factor in the progressive phase of MS. The researchers also show how this process can be reversed."The plant and fungi-derived sugar Trehalose restores where can i get lioresal the functional breakdown of myelin residues, stops the progression and leads to recovery from MS-like disease." says doctoral student Rasmus Berglund.

"By enhancing this where can i get lioresal process we hope one day to be able to treat and prevent age-related aspects of neuroinflammatory conditions." Story Source. Materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note.

Content may be edited for style and length..

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As flu season lioresal price per pill creeps up on the Northern Hemisphere, cold and flu relief medications will inevitably fly off store shelves. A natural remedy that shoppers might reach for is elderberry, a small, blackish-purple fruit that companies turn into syrups, lozenges and gummies. Though therapeutic uses of the berry date back centuries, Michael Macknin, a pediatrician lioresal price per pill at the Cleveland Clinic, hadn’t heard of using elderberry to treat the flu until a patient’s mother asked him about it. Some industry-sponsored research claims that the herbal remedy could cut the length of the symptoms by up to four days. For a comparison, Tamiflu, an FDA-approved treatment, only reduces flu duration by about a single lioresal price per pill day.

€œI said, 'Gee, if that’s really true [about elderberry], it would be a huge benefit,'” Macknin says. But the effectiveness and safety of elderberry is still fairly unclear. Unlike the over-the-counter medicines at your local pharmacy, elderberry hasn't lioresal price per pill been through rigorous FDA testing and approval. However, Macknin and his team recently published a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, which found that elderberry treatments did nothing for flu patients. This prompts a need for further studies into the remedy lioresal price per pill — work that unfortunately stands a low chance of happening in the future, Macknin says.

Looking For ProofElderberries are full of chemicals that could be good for your health. Like similar fruits, the berries contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that shut down reactions in our bodies that damage lioresal price per pill cells. But whether or not elderberry's properties also help immune systems fend off a virus is murky. There are only a handful of studies that have examined if elderberries reduced the severity or duration of the flu. And though some of the work prior to Macknin’s was well-designed and supported this herbal remedy as a helpful flu aid, at least some — and potentially all — of those studies were funded by elderberry treatment manufacturers.Macknin says an elderberry supplement company provided his team with their products and a placebo version for free, but that the lioresal price per pill company wasn’t involved in the research beyond that.

Macknin's study is the largest one conducted on elderberry to date, with 87 influenza patients completing the entire treatment course. Participants in the study were also welcome to take Tamiflu, for ethical reasons, as the team didn’t lioresal price per pill want to exclude anyone from taking a proven flu therapy. Additionally, each participant took home either a bottle of elderberry syrup or the placebo with instructions on when and how to take it. The research team called participants every lioresal price per pill day for a symptom check and to remind them to take their medication.By chance, it turned out that a higher percentage of the patients given elderberry syrup had gotten their flu shot and also chose to take Tamiflu. Since the vaccination can reduce the severity of infection in recipients who still come down with the flu, the study coincidentally operated in favor of those who took the herbal remedy, Macknin says.

Those patients could have dealt with a shorter, less-intense illness because of the Tamiflu and vaccination. €œEverything was stacked to have it turn out better [for the elderberry group],” Macknin says, “and it turned out the same.” The researchers found lioresal price per pill no difference in illness duration or severity between the elderberry and placebo groups. While analyzing the data, the team also found that those on the herbal treatment might have actually fared worse than those on the placebo. The potential for this intervention to actually harm instead of help influenza patients explains why Macknin thinks the therapy needs lioresal price per pill further research.But, don't expect that work to happen any time soon. Researchers are faced with a number of challenges when it comes to studying the efficacy of herbal remedies.

For starters, there's little financial incentive to investigate if they lioresal price per pill actually work. Plant products are challenging to patent, making them less lucrative prospects for pharmaceutical companies or research organizations to investigate. Additionally, investigations that try and prove a proposed therapy as an effective drug — like the one Macknin and his team accomplished — are expensive, Macknin says. Those projects need lioresal price per pill FDA oversight and additional paperwork, components that drive up study costs. €œIt’s extraordinarily expensive and there’s no money in it for anybody,” Macknin says.Talk To Your DoctorUltimately, research on elderberry therapies for flu patients is a mixed bag, and deserves more attention from scientists.

However, if you lioresal price per pill still want to discuss elderberry treatments for the flu with your doctor, that’s a conversation you should feel comfortable having, says Erica McIntyre, an expert focused on health and environmental psychology in the School of Public Health at the University of Technology Sydney. Navigating what research says about a particular herbal medicine is challenging for patients and health practitioners alike. The process is made more lioresal price per pill complex by the range of similar-sounding products on the market that lack standardized ingredients, McIntyre says. But when doctors judge or shame patients for asking about non-conventional healthcare interventions, the response can distance people and push them closer to potentially unproven treatments. Even worse, those individuals might start to keep their herbal remedies a secret.

€œIt is that fear about being judged for use of that medication,” McIntyre says, that drives up to 50 percent of people taking herbal treatments to withhold that information from healthcare lioresal price per pill practitioners. That’s a dangerous choice, as some herbal and traditional medications can interact and cause health problems.If a physician shames someone for asking about alternative medicines, it’s likely time to find a new doctor, McIntyre says. Look for someone who will listen to your concerns — whether it's that you feel traditional treatments haven’t worked for you, or that you didn’t like the side effects, the two lioresal price per pill common reasons people pursue herbal treatments in the first place. €œYou’re not necessarily looking for a doctor that will let you do whatever you want,” McIntyre says, “but that they actually consider you as a patient, your treatment choices and your treatment priorities, and communicate in a way that’s supportive.” And if a doctor suggests that you avoid a treatment you’re interested in, ask why. They generally have a good reason, McIntyre says.For now, know that even if your doctor doesn’t support you taking elderberry, there are other proven preventative measures that are worth your while — like the flu shot.

Anyone six months or older should get it, Macknin says, and stick to the protocols lioresal price per pill we’re used to following to prevent COVID-19 infections, like social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing. Those measures also help prevent flu transmission, too — something, so far, no elderberry supplement package can claim.The yearly influenza season threatens to make the COVID-19 pandemic doubly deadly, but I believe that this isn’t inevitable.There are two commonly given vaccines – the pneumococcal vaccine and the Hib vaccine – that protect against bacterial pneumonias. These bacteria complicate both influenza and COVID-19, often leading to death lioresal price per pill. My examination of disease trends and vaccination rates leads me to believe that broader use of the pneumococcal and Hib vaccines could guard against the worst effects of a COVID-19 illness.I am an immunologist and physiologist interested in the effects of combined infections on immunity. I have reached lioresal price per pill my insight by juxtaposing two seemingly unrelated puzzles.

Infants and children get SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but very rarely become hospitalized or die. And case numbers and death rates from COVID-19 began varying greatly from nation to nation and city to city even before lockdowns began. I wondered why.One night I woke up with a possible lioresal price per pill answer. Vaccination rates. Most children, beginning lioresal price per pill at age two months, are vaccinated against numerous diseases.

Adults less so. And, both infant and adult vaccination rates vary widely across lioresal price per pill the world. Could differences in the rates of vaccination against one or more diseases account for differences in COVID-19 risks?. As someone who had previously investigated other pandemics such as the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918-19 and AIDS, and who has worked with vaccines, I had a strong background for tracking down the relevant data to test my hypothesis.Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates Correlate With Lower COVID-19 Cases and DeathsI gathered national and some local data on vaccination rates against influenza, polio, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), tuberculosis (BCG), pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). I correlated them with COVID-19 case rates and death lioresal price per pill rates for 24 nations that had experienced their COVID-19 outbreaks at about the same time.

I controlled for factors such as percentage of the population who were obese, diabetic or elderly.I found that only pneumococcal vaccines afforded statistically significant protection against COVID-19. Nations such as Spain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Peru and Chile that have the highest COVID-19 rates per lioresal price per pill million have the poorest pneumococcal vaccination rates among both infants and adults. Nations with the lowest rates of COVID-19 – Japan, Korea, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand – have the highest rates of pneumococcal vaccination among both infants and adults.A recent preprint study (not yet peer-reviewed) from researchers at the Mayo Clinic has also reported very strong associations between pneumococcal vaccination and protection against COVID-19. This is especially true among minority patients lioresal price per pill who are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. The report also suggests that other vaccines, or combinations of vaccines, such as Hib and MMR may also provide protection.These results are important because in the U.S., childhood vaccination against pneumococci – which protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria – varies by state from 74% to 92%.

Although the CDC recommends that all adults 18-64 in high risk groups for COVID-19 and all adults over the age of 65 get a pneumococcal vaccination, only 23% of high-risk adults and 64% of those over the age of 65 do so.Similarly, although the CDC recommends at all infants and some high-risk adults be vaccinated against Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), only 80.7% of children in the U.S. And a handful of immunologically lioresal price per pill compromised adults have been. Pneumococcal and Hib vaccination rates are significantly lower in minority populations in the U.S. And in countries that lioresal price per pill have been hit harder by COVID-19 than the U.S.Based on these data, I advocate universal pneumococcal and Hib vaccination among children, at-risk adults and all adults over 65 to prevent serious COVID-19 disease.Left. Combined rates of childhood and adult (over 65) pneumococcal vaccination (out of a possible 200).

Right. Cases (per million) population of COVID-19 at about 90 days into the pandemic for 24 nations. Nations with high pneumococcal vaccination rates have low COVID-19 case rates. (Credit. CC BY-SA)How Pneumococcal Vaccination Protects Against COVID-19Protection against serious COVID-19 disease by pneumococcal and Hib vaccines makes sense for several reasons.

First, recent studies reveal that the majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and in some studies nearly all, are infected with streptococci, which causes pneumococcal pneumonias, Hib or other pneumonia-causing bacteria. Pneumococcal and Hib vaccinations should protect coronavirus patients from these infections and thus significantly cut the risk of serious pneumonia.I also found that pneumococcal, Hib and possibly rubella vaccines may confer specific protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 by means of “molecular mimicry.”Molecular mimicry occurs when the immune system thinks one microbe looks like another. In this case, proteins found in pneumococcal vaccines and, to a lesser degree, ones found in Hib and rubella vaccines as well look like several proteins produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.Two of these proteins found in pneumococcal vaccines mimic the spike and membrane proteins that permit the virus to infect cells. This suggests pneumococcal vaccination may prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two other mimics are the nucleoprotein and replicase that control virus replication.

These proteins are made after viral infection, in which case pneumococcal vaccination may control, but not prevent, SARS-CoV-2 replication.Either way, these vaccines may provide proxy protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection that we can implement right now, even before we have a specific virus vaccine. Such protection may not be complete. People might still suffer a weakened version of COVID-19 but, like most infants and children, be protected against the worst effects of the infection.Fighting Influenza-related Pneumonias During the COVID-19 PandemicWhile the specific protection these other vaccines confer against COVID-19 has not yet been tested in a clinical trial, I advocate broader implementation of pneumococcal and Hib vaccination for one additional, well-validated reason.Pneumococcal and Hib pneumonias – both caused by bacteria – are the major causes of death following viral influenza. The influenza virus rarely causes death directly. Most often, the virus makes the lungs more susceptible to bacterial pneumonias, which are deadly.

Dozens of studies around the world have demonstrated that increasing rates of pneumococcal and Hib vaccination dramatically lowers influenza-related pneumonias.Similar studies demonstrate that the price of using these vaccines is balanced by savings due to lower rates of influenza-related hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths. In the context of COVID-19, lowering rates of influenza-related hospitalizations and ICU admissions would free up resources to fight the coronavirus, independent of any effect these vaccines might have on SARS-CoV-2 itself. In my opinion, that is a winning scenario.In short, we need not wait for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to slow down COVID-19.I believe that we can and should act now by fighting the coronavirus with all the tools at our disposal, including influenza, Hib, pneumococcal and perhaps rubella vaccinations.Preventing pneumococcal and Hib complications of influenza and COVID-19, and perhaps proxy-vaccinating against SARS-CoV-2 itself, helps everyone. Administering these already available and well-tested pneumococcal and Hib vaccines to people will save money by freeing up hospital beds and ICUs. It will also improve public health by reducing the spread of multiple infections and boost the economy by nurturing a healthier population.Robert Root-Bernstein is a Professor of Physiology at Michigan State University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation under a Creative Commons liscense Read the original here.This story appeared in the November 2020 issue as "Bacteria and the Brain." Subscribe to Discover magazine for more stories like this.It’s not always easy to convince people that the human gut is a sublime and wondrous place worthy of special attention. Sarkis Mazmanian discovered that soon after arriving at Caltech for his first faculty job 14 years ago, when he explained to a local artist what he had in mind for the walls outside his new office.The resulting mural greets visitors to the Mazmanian Lab today. A vaguely psychedelic, 40-foot-long, tube-shaped colon that’s pink, purple and red snakes down the hallway. In a panel next to it, fluorescent yellow and green bacteria explode out of a deeply inflamed section of the intestinal tract, like radioactive lava from outer space.The mural is modest compared with what the scientist has been working on since. Over the last decade or so, Mazmanian has been a leading proponent of the idea that the flora of the human digestive tract has a far more powerful effect on the human body and mind than we thought — a scientific effort that earned him a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” in 2012.

Since then, Mazmanian and a small but growing cadre of fellow microbiologists have amassed a tantalizing body of evidence on the microbiome’s role in all kinds of brain disorders, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression.But the results they’ve seen in autism could, in the end, prove the most transformative. Autism affects about 1 in 59 children in the U.S., and involves profound social withdrawal, communication problems, and sometimes anxiety and aggression. The causes of the brain disorder have remained speculative. Now, Mazmanian and other researchers are finding that autism may be inextricably linked to — or even caused by — irregularities in the gut microbiome.A Biology StoryAt 47, Mazmanian — with his shaved head, flannel shirt and skinny jeans — resembles a young, urban hipster on his way to write at the local café. Originally, literary life was his plan.

Born in Lebanon to two Armenian refugees, neither of whom had more than a first-grade education, Mazmanian landed in the class of an energetic high school English teacher in California’s San Fernando Valley, where his family first settled. The teacher recognized his gift for language and encouraged him to pursue a career in literature. Mazmanian enrolled at UCLA in 1990, planning to major in English.Everything changed when he took his first biology class. Hunched over his new, thick textbook in the library, reading about basic biological concepts like photosynthesis, Mazmanian felt a vast new world opening up to him.Sarkis Mazmanian, shown in front of a mural that celebrates the human gut, is part of a group of microbiologists researching the effects of the digestive tract on a range of disorders. (Credit.

Caltech)“For the first time in my life, I wanted to turn the page and see where the story was going to go,” he says. €œI think I decided that minute to become a scientist.”Mazmanian was most fascinated by the idea that tiny organisms, invisible to the naked eye, could function as powerful, self-contained machines — powerful enough to take over and destroy the human body. After graduating with a degree in microbiology, Mazmanian joined a UCLA infectious diseases lab and began studying bacteria that cause staph infections.As his dissertation defense approached, Mazmanian read a one-page commentary penned by a prominent microbiologist, highlighting the fact that our intestines are teeming with hundreds, if not thousands, of different species of bacteria. But it was still largely unknown what they are and how they affect the human body.When Mazmanian dug further, he found that no one had yet answered what seemed to him to be the most obvious question. Why would the human immune system, designed to attack and destroy foreign invaders, allow hundreds of species of bacteria to live and thrive in our guts unmolested?.

To him, the bacteria’s survival implied that we had evolved to coexist with them. And if that were so, he reasoned, there must be some benefit to both the microbes and the human body — a symbiotic relationship. But what was it?. Gut InvadersMazmanian set out to study the link between gut microbes and the immune system. As a postdoctoral researcher, he joined the lab of Harvard University infectious disease specialist Dennis Kasper.To start, Mazmanian examined how the immune systems of germ-free mice — lab mice completely protected, starting at birth, from all microbes — differed from those of mice with either few or normal levels of microbes.

He expected this initial census would be just a first step in a long and arduous quest for scientific pay dirt. But when he went to examine a printout of his results in the lab, he realized immediately he might already be onto something big. The germ-free mice had a 30 to 40 percent reduction in a specific type of immune cell known as helper T-cells.This colorized close-up of a mouse’s gut reveals the tight relationship between the gut microbe Bacteroides fragilis (red) and the epithelial surface of the colon (blue). (Credit. Caltech)Since helper T-cells play a key role in coordinating attacks against invading pathogens, the finding suggested that the immune systems of the germ-free mice were far less robust than those found in peers with normal levels of microbes.“That was exciting, right?.

€ Mazmanian recalls. €œObviously I repeated it and tested it in a number of different ways. Then I asked the next question. €˜Can I restore the [immune] function in an adult animal?. €™â€‰â€Mazmanian colonized the guts of the immunocompromised, germ-free mice with microbes from standard lab mice.

After receiving the fecal transplant, their T-cell counts shot up. Within a month, their numbers were identical to mice raised outside the germ-free bubble.Resolving to identify the microorganisms causing this transformation, Mazmanian resorted to trial and error. One by one, he added strains of bacteria found in the guts of mice to the guts of germ-free mice.He got nowhere with the first five or six species he examined. Then, simply because it was convenient, he decided to test one more that was readily available in his lab. Mazmanian’s adviser, Kasper, had been studying a gut microbe called Bacteroides fragilis.

When Mazmanian implanted one of Kasper’s specimens into the gut of his germ-free mice, the results were dramatic. The T-cell numbers spiked to normal. Eventually, Mazmanian demonstrated he could reproduce this effect simply by adding a single molecule that these bacteria produce, called polysaccharide A, to their guts.“There was no logic in the choice whatsoever,” Mazmanian recalls. €œ[B. Fragilis] was available, it came from the gut.” In other words, he got lucky.Mazmanian dug deeper and discovered that the biggest impact B.

Fragilis had was on the population of a subtype of helper T-cells called regulatory, or suppressor, T-cells. These cells play a key role in preventing the immune system from attacking its host body, protecting against autoimmune or inflammatory diseases. It was the first time any scientist had demonstrated that a single compound from a single microbe could reverse a specific problem with the immune system.To Mazmanian, the finding, published in 2005 in the journal Cell, alluded to new approaches to treating a wide array of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic disorders. What if it were possible to help a faulty immune system by tweaking a patient’s microbiome?. It was with this exploration in mind that he arrived in Pasadena in 2006 to set up his lab at Caltech.A Convenient CollaborationA few years later, Mazmanian was having lunch on campus with neuroscientist and colleague Paul Patterson.

Patterson had been preoccupied with a mystery that had, for years, confounded those studying autism in humans. When pregnant mothers have a severe infection in the second trimester, their babies are much more likely to develop autism.As Mazmanian tells it, Patterson was a man of few words, and at lunch Mazmanian was “going on and on” about his own work.“You know,” Patterson interjected thoughtfully, “I think kids with autism have GI issues.”Patterson recalled reading that something like 60 percent of children with autism had some form of clinical GI problem, such as bloating, constipation, flatulence or diarrhea. Was it possible, he wondered, that there was a microbiome connection?. As they talked, Mazmanian’s excitement grew.A few years earlier, Patterson had discovered that when he exposed pregnant mice to pathogens like the influenza virus, they gave birth to pups that grew up more likely to be startled by loud noises, to shy away from social contact and to groom themselves repetitively — symptoms that resemble those of autism. Patterson was in the process of comparing the brains of these autism-mimicking mice with their neurotypical cousins to see if he could detect any differences that might explain how the maternal immune system was somehow interfering with the pups’ brain development.Mazmanian had a suggestion.

The next time Patterson sacrificed one of his autistic mice to study their brains, what if he set the intestines aside for his colleague down the hall?. When the guts arrived in Mazmanian’s lab, he found that the intestines of the neurotypical mice looked normal. But the guts of the autism-mimicking offspring were almost uniformly inflamed. Could it be that the microbiome was the cause of this inflammation?. And could that, in turn, be somehow connected to the behavioral symptoms?.

Throughout the winter and spring of 2012, Mazmanian and Patterson continued their conversation. Mazmanian found distinct differences in the microbiomes of the mice. And, they noticed, the mice with the features of autism had leaky gut syndrome, an increased permeability of the gut lining that can allow pathogens and allergens to leach out. This condition had also been reported in children with autism.So Mazmanian and Patterson turned their attention outside the gut. They took blood samples to see if any gut microbes, or the compounds they produce, were circulating in the rest of the body.

They homed in on one molecule in particular, called 4-ethylphenyl sulfate, which was roughly 45 times as abundant in the mice that had symptoms of autism. And it looked familiar. Structurally, it was almost identical to a molecule recently found to be significantly elevated in human children with autism.It was enough to take the next step. Every day for three weeks, Mazmanian injected the molecule, harvested from the mice with autism-like symptoms, directly into the bloodstream of 5-week-old normal lab mice (the age at which the autistic mice normally developed leaky gut). Then Mazmanian and his team gave them a series of behavioral tests.

The mice were far more easily startled and were less comfortable in large empty spaces than their untreated peers, indications of an increase in anxiety-related behaviors commonly seen in the mice with autism-like symptoms. The researchers published their results in Cell in 2013.Though surprising, the data made sense in some ways. Many drug companies rely on small-molecule drugs that can be taken orally, but still manage to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect behavior. It seemed entirely possible that small molecules, created by bacteria in the gut, could enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. And they don’t even have to leak out of the gut to do so.Of Mice and MenPatterson died in 2014, at age 70, just six months after the publication of the duo’s groundbreaking Cell paper.

Around the same time, a series of parallel experiments in a clinic hundreds of miles away was already paving the way forward. While Patterson and Mazmanian had been working in mice, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, a microbiologist at Arizona State University, had teamed up with Jim Adams, who directs the university’s autism and Asperger’s research program, to study humans.The researchers were conducting a detailed analysis of the microbiome of human autism patients and found that the bacteria were far less diverse in the children with autism. Notably, several important species involved in the digestion of carbohydrates were severely depleted.Krajmalnik-Brown and Adams launched a preliminary trial to test the effects of fecal transplants on 18 children between the ages of 7 and 16 with severe autism, who also had severe GI issues. The researchers administered powerful antibiotics to kill off the microbiomes of the children and followed them with a bowel cleanse. They then replaced the microbes with transplanted flora taken from the guts of healthy neurotypical adult volunteers.The results were better than anyone could have expected.

The procedure resulted in a large reduction in GI symptoms and increased the diversity of bacteria in the children’s guts. But more significantly, their neurological symptoms were reduced. At the onset of the study in 2017, an independent evaluator found 83 percent of participants had severe autism. Two years after the initial trial, only 17 percent were rated as severely autistic. And 44 percent were no longer on the autism scale.“[My child] did a complete 180,” says Dana Woods, whose then-7-year-old son Ethan enrolled in the initial study five years ago.

€œHis ability to communicate is so much different now. He’s just so much more present. He’s so much more aware. He’s no longer in occupational therapy. He’s no longer in speech therapy.

After the study, he tested two points away from a neurotypical child.”In their first report on the trial in 2017, the team highlighted a number of distinct changes in the microbiome after the transplants, in particular a surge in the populations of three types of bacteria. Among them was a four-fold increase in Bifidobacterium, a probiotic organism that seems to play a key role in the maintenance of a healthy gut.But figuring out what was happening on a cellular level — to really look inside some guts — would require another vehicle. The ASU team needed Mazmanian’s mice.“At the end of the day, what we care about is healing people and how the microbiome affects people,” explains Krajmalnik-Brown. €œThat’s why we work with people. But with mice you can do things that are more mechanistic.”The Great Mouse Detective(Credit.

Caltech)Together, Krajmalnik-Brown, Mazmanian and their collaborators would uncover some tantalizing new insights that go a long way to solving the mystery. In May 2019, the team published another high-profile paper in Cell, after they transplanted stool samples from Krajmalnik-Brown’s severely autistic patients into the guts of Mazmanian’s germ-free mice. The offspring of these mice showed the autism-like symptoms, such as repetitive and compulsive behavior.This time, the team dug even deeper into the biochemical processes playing out in the brain, looking not just at behavior but at the chemicals involved in creating it. The mice that developed autism-like behaviors had measurably lower levels of two substances called taurine and 5-aminovaleric acid (5AV). When they dug into the literature, the team learned that these two substances are known to mimic activity of a key signaling agent in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) — a neurotransmitter that other studies have found is deficient in the brains of children with autism.What’s more, some have speculated that the tendency of children with autism to experience sensory overstimulation may stem from the inability to tamp down overexcited neurons.

A lack of GABA could lead to just that.The scientists next orally administered high levels of taurine and 5AV to pregnant mice with the autistic children’s microbiomes. When their pups were born, the researchers continued to feed the young the substances until they reached adulthood. Compared with untreated animals, the second-generation mice had significantly fewer behavioral symptoms. Taurine reduced repetitive behavior, as measured by marble burying, increased the level of social interaction, and relieved anxiety. Mice administered 5AV were more active and social.“We healed humans with behavioral problems,” says Krajmalnik-Brown.

€œ[And we] transferred some of those deficits and behaviors to mice — basically the opposite. It’s huge.”Mazmanian hopes to take the next step in the months ahead.“I can flip a switch, turn on a light, I know that switch turns on that light. I don’t know the circuit, I don’t know where the wire is,” Mazmanian says. €œExactly how that’s happening … we just don’t understand that.”This most recent study, by itself, hardly proves that dysregulated microbiomes cause the brain disorder — a point that plenty of other scientists skeptical of Mazmanian’s work are happy to make.“The paper made a big splash, but trying to model psychiatric-related human conditions in mice, in my view, is a little bit of a stretch,” says Sangram Sisodia, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago who studies the microbiome. €œA mouse with autism?.

€Nor was that the only criticism. Several researchers have suggested that the group didn’t give proper attention to one of their tests ­— one whose results conflicted with their thesis ­— while others found flaws in the statistical methods they used to assess their results. Mazmanian downplays these criticisms, but agrees the work is not yet conclusive.Meanwhile, the ASU trial has also engendered skepticism, mainly due to its tiny sample size, the lack of a control group and the methods by which the children were assessed for autism severity. Krajmalnik-Brown and Adams say they stand by their results, but agree more research is needed. In recent months, they have launched two new studies that will address these issues.Adams insists the work is already changing lives.

€œWe followed up with every one of our 18 participants,” he says, referring to the children who received fecal transplants. €œSure enough, we found that most of the GI benefits had remained. And family after family said their child just slowly, steadily continued making more improvement.” They published the update in Scientific Reports in spring 2019.“I’m not ready to say the case is closed,” says Mazmanian. €œHealthy skepticism is a good thing. I believe the preclinical data, I believe the mouse data.

But there’s a lot of studies that still need to be done.” A Healthy Gut, A New OutlookEthan Woods had GI issues and symptoms of autism until researchers introduced new microbes to his gut. His mother says the treatment changed everything. (Credit. Dana Woods)Prior to his fecal transplant at age 7, Ethan Woods suffered from chronic and severe diarrhea, constipation and cramping, symptoms so extreme that to his mother, Dana, he sounded like “a bit like a woman in labor when he was trying to have a bowel movement.” “It was just awful watching your child go through this,” she says, explaining that when she enrolled her autistic son in the Arizona State study, her “only goal was to fix his gut.”Remarkably, Ethan’s agony began to disappear just a few weeks into the trial. But that was not the most dramatic difference.

Before the transplant, Ethan’s speech was drawn out and slow, his language skills rudimentary. He seemed to live in his own bubble. He had frequent outbursts. For as long as Dana could remember, her mornings with Ethan had been marked by arguing, fighting, pushing and anger. But then one morning, something shocking happened.“He woke me up one morning with his face right in my face with this big smile and he said, ‘Morning, Mom!.

€™â€‰â€ she recalls. €œAnd he was just excited and happy and ready to go about his day with this big smile. It choked me up to the point where I teared up because I had never experienced a happy kid in the morning.”Later, Ethan carried over an iPad and opened an app with a talking cat that repeats back the words children speak aloud. He played back a video recording of himself from just a few weeks earlier.“[He] looks me in the eye and says, ‘Mom, why did I talk like that?. What is wrong with me?.

€™ And as soon as he did that, I caught my breath. I had to compose myself and say, ‘I don’t know. But do you feel better?. Do you feel different?. Why do you think?.

€™â€‰â€Ethan’s communication skills had already begun to improve. Within a year of the study, his speech therapist graduated him from speech therapy because he had met all his goals.“He went from one end of the rainbow all the way to the other end of the rainbow,” she says. €œPrior to the study, I was very afraid. My biggest fear was ‘how is he going to navigate the world when I’m not here?. €™ And I think I have a lot of hope now that he is going to be OK now on his own.”There’s something strange about the female orgasm, something that scientists have been unable to explain.

Biological functions are normally discussed in terms of evolutionary pressure, or reproductive advantage. If a biological trait improves your chances of having more offspring, then it’s more likely to stick around in your species. The male orgasm makes perfect sense — ejaculate contains the genetic material that’s necessary for making babies. But the female orgasm has been harder to nail down. Fertilization doesn’t depend on it, and “fun” isn’t exactly in the pantheon of evolutionary explanations.Researchers that study how the female orgasm relates to reproductive success have two main options — either ask people invasive questions about their most personal moments, or to find a way to stick probes in or on them during said moments.

Neither of these approaches have resulted in the kind of “wet lab” research that’s the gold standard for biological understanding.What we do know, despite widespread cultural discomfort with talking openly about sex and pleasure, is that there appears to be significant sexual dysfunction in American society. Back in 2014, researchers from the Kinsey Institute, the preeminent U.S. Academy for the study of sex and relationships, said as much. In a survey of nearly 3,000 people, they found that men, straight or gay, orgasmed 85 percent of the time during consensual sexual encounters. Lesbian women orgasmed less often, 75 percent of the time, while straight women fared worst with just a 60 percent chance of orgasm.

Other studies have shown that something like 10-15 percent of women experience lifelong anorgasmia, meaning they’ve never experienced orgasm. A further 40 percent of women report some kind of inability to reach orgasm in the past year.The orgasm gap is hard to explain. Some think that it comes down to straight men’s finesse, or lack thereof, citing the difference between straight and lesbian satisfaction. Indeed, it makes sense that knowing your way around the territory would help. But for many couples this isn’t a helpful revelation, since the emotional maturity necessary to teach sexual dexterity is often out of reach.

Shortcut to SatisfactionLuckily, we live in an era of Silicon Valley disruption, which has even started lapping at the shores of sex research. Technologist Liz Klinger is at the forefront of this transition. She and her team have built a platform that lets people become citizen scientists of sex —without ever having to get out from between the sheets.About a decade ago, Klinger’s company, Lioness, released what they billed as the first “smart vibrator,” a sex toy that could actually learn about you. The final product was a far cry from the first prototype, which was much more laboratory object than sex toy.The “test device was this whole mess of wires, with a hard connection. We had to physically send it to our beta testers, who used it and sent it back,” recalls Klinger.

The researchers would download the data collected by the toy’s four sensors — temperature, motion, acceleration and pressure — and compile it into a chart that represented arousal and orgasm, as told through the story of pelvic-floor muscle contractions.It was an immediate success for sex partners who needed ways to talk about pleasure in a more objective way. Klinger recalled that when she got the first beta-test couple on the phone, “the wife was like ‘holy crap, we finally were able to talk about these things that I’ve had a lot of trouble talking about.’ It turned out that she wanted more foreplay, and he didn’t know quite that that meant. He’d spend more time, but it just didn’t match up, you know?. € With the company’s signature offering in hand — a chart of sexual arousal over time — Klinger found that couples could have a conversation “without the subtext of ‘oh, you’re not good enough, or I don’t like you enough,’ on the husband’s part and ‘I’m so tired of talking about this’ on the wife’s part,” she says. The chart “can change people’s perceptions of their own experiences, and how they talk about them with others.”Doing the Deed — For ScienceThis spring, the company has launched a research platform dubbed Lioness 2.0 — a new optional service that, unsurprisingly, their data-obsessed users have greeted with open arms.

Now, instead of simply using the toy to understand themselves better, Lioness owners can opt in to the kinds of hands-on studies that are necessary for a deeper understanding of sex and pleasure. So far, the company is working with Nigeria’s Society for Family Health to study how pleasure changes with menopause across age, race and orientation, as well as with the U.S.’s Center for Genital Health and Education to explore the role of pelvic floor muscles in orgasm.Pani Farvid, a professor of applied psychology at The New School in New York City, has some reservations about the platform. €œI really like what they’re trying to do, but there could be more added to make it a bit more comprehensive. My concern is that there's a misconception that sex is just about the orgasm, that it’s just physiological and that pleasure just has to do with the genitals.” From where she’s sitting, “that’s a very mechanical view of sexuality.” If the Lioness is helping to equalize the orgasm gap, or helping people understand their bodies better, “I think that's great,” says Farvid. €œBut as a critical sexologist, I'm interested in delving deeper into what these practices mean.” If sex is hyper-focused on orgasm, to exclusion of everything else, she cautions that these norms “have real-life negative impacts on people's sex lives and their sense of themselves.”At this point, knee-deep in an era of data collection that was once the sole purview of white-coat-wearing scientists, it’s old news that we need to be careful with what our technology is doing to us.

No tool can serve as a cure-all, even if it comes loaded with a neat app and some space-age sensors. What it can offer, though, is the opportunity to start a conversation, and the chance to take a long, honest look at something about yourself — whether it’s the number of steps you take every day, or the way you want to be touched.Wondering how to keep your glasses from fogging up when your mask is on?. Look no further. If we've learned one thing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it's the importance of wearing a mask. Countless studies have shown over the past eight months that wearing a protective barrier over your nose and mouth — whether it's a standard-issue surgical mask or an N95 respirator — can significantly decrease the odds of catching and transmitting disease.

What's more, some research shows that masking up can reduce the severity of an infection if a masked person does contract COVID-19. But while masks are potentially lifesaving, they can be uncomfortable, often changing your breathing patterns and fogging up your glasses when breath escapes through the top of the mask. Among people who choose not to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many cite discomfort as a key reason why.Wesley Wilson, a tumor immunologist in Pennsylvania, knows how annoying it can be when your glasses are fogging up. He says fogging is “definitely a problem” among his hospital colleagues, who need to wear protective goggles and surgical masks while on the job. Fortunately, they've also picked up a few helpful hacks for keeping their vision clear while wearing a mask with glasses.#1.

Use Tape“If you have to keep your mask on for hours, tape works like a charm,” Wilson says. This especially applies to healthcare professionals in his practice who are required to keep their masks on at all times, except during lunch. €œIf you're putting on your mask and taking it off a lot, tape probably isn't practical — but two small pieces of tape on the cheeks keep the mask fitted closer to your face, and the hot air out of your glasses,” he says.#2. Fit the Mask to Your FaceWhile some air leakage is to be expected, wearing a mask that fits securely to your face will prevent glass fogging and filter the virus more effectively since less air is coming in or out. Find surgical masks or N95s that come with a nose bridge, a small, flexible piece of metal or plastic that allows the mask to more closely fit the contours of your face.

Nose bridges can be sewn inside masks or affixed to the front.Read More. Why It Feels Like You Can't Breathe Inside Your Face Mask#3. Adjust Your MaskAccording to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a minor adjustment in how you wear your mask could be enough to prevent fog as well. Simply pull the mask over your nose and rest your glasses on top of your face mask. As long as the mask is fitted close to your face, this should prevent hot air from slipping out.#4.

Spray Your GlassesA former ice hockey player, Wilson says the protective visor under his helmet would often fog with hot air while he was on the ice during games. Like an ocean diver, he would use de-misting solution or a defogging spray (such as this one) to keep his visor free of fog. The same concept applies to eyeglass fog caused by masking, he says. €œYou can either buy a spray or you can make your own with either shaving cream or soap and water,” says Wilson. €œWiping some shaving cream on your glasses and then wiping it off will coat them with a similar surface-tension altering compound that prevents fog.”.

As flu season creeps up on the Northern Hemisphere, cold and flu relief medications will inevitably fly off store where can i get lioresal shelves. A natural remedy that shoppers might reach for is elderberry, a small, blackish-purple fruit that companies turn into syrups, lozenges and gummies. Though therapeutic uses of the berry date back centuries, Michael where can i get lioresal Macknin, a pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic, hadn’t heard of using elderberry to treat the flu until a patient’s mother asked him about it. Some industry-sponsored research claims that the herbal remedy could cut the length of the symptoms by up to four days.

For a comparison, Tamiflu, an FDA-approved treatment, only reduces where can i get lioresal flu duration by about a single day. €œI said, 'Gee, if that’s really true [about elderberry], it would be a huge benefit,'” Macknin says. But the effectiveness and safety of elderberry is still fairly unclear. Unlike the over-the-counter medicines at your local where can i get lioresal pharmacy, elderberry hasn't been through rigorous FDA testing and approval.

However, Macknin and his team recently published a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, which found that elderberry treatments did nothing for flu patients. This prompts a need where can i get lioresal for further studies into the remedy — work that unfortunately stands a low chance of happening in the future, Macknin says. Looking For ProofElderberries are full of chemicals that could be good for your health. Like similar fruits, the where can i get lioresal berries contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that shut down reactions in our bodies that damage cells.

But whether or not elderberry's properties also help immune systems fend off a virus is murky. There are only a handful of studies that have examined if elderberries reduced the severity or duration of the flu. And though some of the work prior to Macknin’s was well-designed and supported this herbal remedy as a where can i get lioresal helpful flu aid, at least some — and potentially all — of those studies were funded by elderberry treatment manufacturers.Macknin says an elderberry supplement company provided his team with their products and a placebo version for free, but that the company wasn’t involved in the research beyond that. Macknin's study is the largest one conducted on elderberry to date, with 87 influenza patients completing the entire treatment course.

Participants in the study were also welcome to take Tamiflu, for ethical where can i get lioresal reasons, as the team didn’t want to exclude anyone from taking a proven flu therapy. Additionally, each participant took home either a bottle of elderberry syrup or the placebo with instructions on when and how to take it. The research team called participants every day for a symptom check and to remind them to take their medication.By chance, it turned out that a higher percentage of the patients given elderberry where can i get lioresal syrup had gotten their flu shot and also chose to take Tamiflu. Since the vaccination can reduce the severity of infection in recipients who still come down with the flu, the study coincidentally operated in favor of those who took the herbal remedy, Macknin says.

Those patients could have dealt with a shorter, less-intense illness because of the Tamiflu and vaccination. €œEverything was stacked to have it turn out better [for the elderberry group],” Macknin says, “and it turned out the where can i get lioresal same.” The researchers found no difference in illness duration or severity between the elderberry and placebo groups. While analyzing the data, the team also found that those on the herbal treatment might have actually fared worse than those on the placebo. The potential for this intervention to actually harm instead of help influenza patients explains why Macknin thinks the therapy needs further research.But, don't expect that work to where can i get lioresal happen any time soon.

Researchers are faced with a number of challenges when it comes to studying the efficacy of herbal remedies. For starters, there's little financial incentive to where can i get lioresal investigate if they actually work. Plant products are challenging to patent, making them less lucrative prospects for pharmaceutical companies or research organizations to investigate. Additionally, investigations that try and prove a proposed therapy as an effective drug — like the one Macknin and his team accomplished — are expensive, Macknin says.

Those projects need FDA oversight and additional paperwork, components that drive up where can i get lioresal study costs. €œIt’s extraordinarily expensive and there’s no money in it for anybody,” Macknin says.Talk To Your DoctorUltimately, research on elderberry therapies for flu patients is a mixed bag, and deserves more attention from scientists. However, if you still want to discuss elderberry treatments for the flu with your doctor, that’s a conversation you should feel comfortable having, says Erica McIntyre, an expert focused on health and environmental psychology in the School of Public Health at where can i get lioresal the University of Technology Sydney. Navigating what research says about a particular herbal medicine is challenging for patients and health practitioners alike.

The process is made where can i get lioresal more complex by the range of similar-sounding products on the market that lack standardized ingredients, McIntyre says. But when doctors judge or shame patients for asking about non-conventional healthcare interventions, the response can distance people and push them closer to potentially unproven treatments. Even worse, those individuals might start to keep their herbal remedies a secret. €œIt is that fear about being judged for use of that medication,” McIntyre says, that drives up to 50 percent of people taking where can i get lioresal herbal treatments to withhold that information from healthcare practitioners.

That’s a dangerous choice, as some herbal and traditional medications can interact and cause health problems.If a physician shames someone for asking about alternative medicines, it’s likely time to find a new doctor, McIntyre says. Look for someone who will listen to where can i get lioresal your concerns — whether it's that you feel traditional treatments haven’t worked for you, or that you didn’t like the side effects, the two common reasons people pursue herbal treatments in the first place. €œYou’re not necessarily looking for a doctor that will let you do whatever you want,” McIntyre says, “but that they actually consider you as a patient, your treatment choices and your treatment priorities, and communicate in a way that’s supportive.” And if a doctor suggests that you avoid a treatment you’re interested in, ask why. They generally have a good reason, McIntyre says.For now, know that even if your doctor doesn’t support you taking elderberry, there are other proven preventative measures that are worth your while — like the flu shot.

Anyone six months or older should get it, Macknin where can i get lioresal says, and stick to the protocols we’re used to following to prevent COVID-19 infections, like social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing. Those measures also help prevent flu transmission, too — something, so far, no elderberry supplement package can claim.The yearly influenza season threatens to make the COVID-19 pandemic doubly deadly, but I believe that this isn’t inevitable.There are two commonly given vaccines – the pneumococcal vaccine and the Hib vaccine – that protect against bacterial pneumonias. These bacteria complicate both influenza and where can i get lioresal COVID-19, often leading to death. My examination of disease trends and vaccination rates leads me to believe that broader use of the pneumococcal and Hib vaccines could guard against the worst effects of a COVID-19 illness.I am an immunologist and physiologist interested in the effects of combined infections on immunity.

I have reached my insight by juxtaposing two where can i get lioresal seemingly unrelated puzzles. Infants and children get SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but very rarely become hospitalized or die. And case numbers and death rates from COVID-19 began varying greatly from nation to nation and city to city even before lockdowns began. I wondered why.One night I where can i get lioresal woke up with a possible answer.

Vaccination rates. Most children, beginning at age two months, are where can i get lioresal vaccinated against numerous diseases. Adults less so. And, both infant and adult vaccination rates vary widely where can i get lioresal across the world.

Could differences in the rates of vaccination against one or more diseases account for differences in COVID-19 risks?. As someone who had previously investigated other pandemics such as the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918-19 and AIDS, and who has worked with vaccines, I had a strong background for tracking down the relevant data to test my hypothesis.Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates Correlate With Lower COVID-19 Cases and DeathsI gathered national and some local data on vaccination rates against influenza, polio, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), tuberculosis (BCG), pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). I correlated where can i get lioresal them with COVID-19 case rates and death rates for 24 nations that had experienced their COVID-19 outbreaks at about the same time. I controlled for factors such as percentage of the population who were obese, diabetic or elderly.I found that only pneumococcal vaccines afforded statistically significant protection against COVID-19.

Nations such as Spain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Peru and Chile that have the highest COVID-19 rates per million have the where can i get lioresal poorest pneumococcal vaccination rates among both infants and adults. Nations with the lowest rates of COVID-19 – Japan, Korea, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand – have the highest rates of pneumococcal vaccination among both infants and adults.A recent preprint study (not yet peer-reviewed) from researchers at the Mayo Clinic has also reported very strong associations between pneumococcal vaccination and protection against COVID-19. This is especially true among minority patients who are bearing the brunt of the where can i get lioresal coronavirus pandemic. The report also suggests that other vaccines, or combinations of vaccines, such as Hib and MMR may also provide protection.These results are important because in the U.S., childhood vaccination against pneumococci – which protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria – varies by state from 74% to 92%.

Although the CDC recommends that all adults 18-64 in high risk groups for COVID-19 and all adults over the age of 65 get a pneumococcal vaccination, only 23% of high-risk adults and 64% of those over the age of 65 do so.Similarly, although the CDC recommends at all infants and some high-risk adults be vaccinated against Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), only 80.7% of children in the U.S. And a handful of immunologically compromised adults where can i get lioresal have been. Pneumococcal and Hib vaccination rates are significantly lower in minority populations in the U.S. And in countries that have been hit harder by COVID-19 than the U.S.Based on these data, I advocate universal pneumococcal and Hib vaccination among children, at-risk adults and all adults over 65 where can i get lioresal to prevent serious COVID-19 disease.Left.

Combined rates of childhood and adult (over 65) pneumococcal vaccination (out of a possible 200). Right. Cases (per million) population of COVID-19 at about 90 days into the pandemic for 24 nations. Nations with high pneumococcal vaccination rates have low COVID-19 case rates.

(Credit. CC BY-SA)How Pneumococcal Vaccination Protects Against COVID-19Protection against serious COVID-19 disease by pneumococcal and Hib vaccines makes sense for several reasons. First, recent studies reveal that the majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and in some studies nearly all, are infected with streptococci, which causes pneumococcal pneumonias, Hib or other pneumonia-causing bacteria. Pneumococcal and Hib vaccinations should protect coronavirus patients from these infections and thus significantly cut the risk of serious pneumonia.I also found that pneumococcal, Hib and possibly rubella vaccines may confer specific protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 by means of “molecular mimicry.”Molecular mimicry occurs when the immune system thinks one microbe looks like another.

In this case, proteins found in pneumococcal vaccines and, to a lesser degree, ones found in Hib and rubella vaccines as well look like several proteins produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.Two of these proteins found in pneumococcal vaccines mimic the spike and membrane proteins that permit the virus to infect cells. This suggests pneumococcal vaccination may prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two other mimics are the nucleoprotein and replicase that control virus replication. These proteins are made after viral infection, in which case pneumococcal vaccination may control, but not prevent, SARS-CoV-2 replication.Either way, these vaccines may provide proxy protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection that we can implement right now, even before we have a specific virus vaccine.

Such protection may not be complete. People might still suffer a weakened version of COVID-19 but, like most infants and children, be protected against the worst effects of the infection.Fighting Influenza-related Pneumonias During the COVID-19 PandemicWhile the specific protection these other vaccines confer against COVID-19 has not yet been tested in a clinical trial, I advocate broader implementation of pneumococcal and Hib vaccination for one additional, well-validated reason.Pneumococcal and Hib pneumonias – both caused by bacteria – are the major causes of death following viral influenza. The influenza virus rarely causes death directly. Most often, the virus makes the lungs more susceptible to bacterial pneumonias, which are deadly.

Dozens of studies around the world have demonstrated that increasing rates of pneumococcal and Hib vaccination dramatically lowers influenza-related pneumonias.Similar studies demonstrate that the price of using these vaccines is balanced by savings due to lower rates of influenza-related hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths. In the context of COVID-19, lowering rates of influenza-related hospitalizations and ICU admissions would free up resources to fight the coronavirus, independent of any effect these vaccines might have on SARS-CoV-2 itself. In my opinion, that is a winning scenario.In short, we need not wait for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to slow down COVID-19.I believe that we can and should act now by fighting the coronavirus with all the tools at our disposal, including influenza, Hib, pneumococcal and perhaps rubella vaccinations.Preventing pneumococcal and Hib complications of influenza and COVID-19, and perhaps proxy-vaccinating against SARS-CoV-2 itself, helps everyone. Administering these already available and well-tested pneumococcal and Hib vaccines to people will save money by freeing up hospital beds and ICUs.

It will also improve public health by reducing the spread of multiple infections and boost the economy by nurturing a healthier population.Robert Root-Bernstein is a Professor of Physiology at Michigan State University. This article was originally published on The Conversation under a Creative Commons liscense Read the original here.This story appeared in the November 2020 issue as "Bacteria and the Brain." Subscribe to Discover magazine for more stories like this.It’s not always easy to convince people that the human gut is a sublime and wondrous place worthy of special attention. Sarkis Mazmanian discovered that soon after arriving at Caltech for his first faculty job 14 years ago, when he explained to a local artist what he had in mind for the walls outside his new office.The resulting mural greets visitors to the Mazmanian Lab today. A vaguely psychedelic, 40-foot-long, tube-shaped colon that’s pink, purple and red snakes down the hallway.

In a panel next to it, fluorescent yellow and green bacteria explode out of a deeply inflamed section of the intestinal tract, like radioactive lava from outer space.The mural is modest compared with what the scientist has been working on since. Over the last decade or so, Mazmanian has been a leading proponent of the idea that the flora of the human digestive tract has a far more powerful effect on the human body and mind than we thought — a scientific effort that earned him a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” in 2012. Since then, Mazmanian and a small but growing cadre of fellow microbiologists have amassed a tantalizing body of evidence on the microbiome’s role in all kinds of brain disorders, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression.But the results they’ve seen in autism could, in the end, prove the most transformative. Autism affects about 1 in 59 children in the U.S., and involves profound social withdrawal, communication problems, and sometimes anxiety and aggression.

The causes of the brain disorder have remained speculative. Now, Mazmanian and other researchers are finding that autism may be inextricably linked to — or even caused by — irregularities in the gut microbiome.A Biology StoryAt 47, Mazmanian — with his shaved head, flannel shirt and skinny jeans — resembles a young, urban hipster on his way to write at the local café. Originally, literary life was his plan. Born in Lebanon to two Armenian refugees, neither of whom had more than a first-grade education, Mazmanian landed in the class of an energetic high school English teacher in California’s San Fernando Valley, where his family first settled.

The teacher recognized his gift for language and encouraged him to pursue a career in literature. Mazmanian enrolled at UCLA in 1990, planning to major in English.Everything changed when he took his first biology class. Hunched over his new, thick textbook in the library, reading about basic biological concepts like photosynthesis, Mazmanian felt a vast new world opening up to him.Sarkis Mazmanian, shown in front of a mural that celebrates the human gut, is part of a group of microbiologists researching the effects of the digestive tract on a range of disorders. (Credit.

Caltech)“For the first time in my life, I wanted to turn the page and see where the story was going to go,” he says. €œI think I decided that minute to become a scientist.”Mazmanian was most fascinated by the idea that tiny organisms, invisible to the naked eye, could function as powerful, self-contained machines — powerful enough to take over and destroy the human body. After graduating with a degree in microbiology, Mazmanian joined a UCLA infectious diseases lab and began studying bacteria that cause staph infections.As his dissertation defense approached, Mazmanian read a one-page commentary penned by a prominent microbiologist, highlighting the fact that our intestines are teeming with hundreds, if not thousands, of different species of bacteria. But it was still largely unknown what they are and how they affect the human body.When Mazmanian dug further, he found that no one had yet answered what seemed to him to be the most obvious question.

Why would the human immune system, designed to attack and destroy foreign invaders, allow hundreds of species of bacteria to live and thrive in our guts unmolested?. To him, the bacteria’s survival implied that we had evolved to coexist with them. And if that were so, he reasoned, there must be some benefit to both the microbes and the human body — a symbiotic relationship. But what was it?.

Gut InvadersMazmanian set out to study the link between gut microbes and the immune system. As a postdoctoral researcher, he joined the lab of Harvard University infectious disease specialist Dennis Kasper.To start, Mazmanian examined how the immune systems of germ-free mice — lab mice completely protected, starting at birth, from all microbes — differed from those of mice with either few or normal levels of microbes. He expected this initial census would be just a first step in a long and arduous quest for scientific pay dirt. But when he went to examine a printout of his results in the lab, he realized immediately he might already be onto something big.

The germ-free mice had a 30 to 40 percent reduction in a specific type of immune cell known as helper T-cells.This colorized close-up of a mouse’s gut reveals the tight relationship between the gut microbe Bacteroides fragilis (red) and the epithelial surface of the colon (blue). (Credit. Caltech)Since helper T-cells play a key role in coordinating attacks against invading pathogens, the finding suggested that the immune systems of the germ-free mice were far less robust than those found in peers with normal levels of microbes.“That was exciting, right?. € Mazmanian recalls.

€œObviously I repeated it and tested it in a number of different ways. Then I asked the next question. €˜Can I restore the [immune] function in an adult animal?. €™â€‰â€Mazmanian colonized the guts of the immunocompromised, germ-free mice with microbes from standard lab mice.

After receiving the fecal transplant, their T-cell counts shot up. Within a month, their numbers were identical to mice raised outside the germ-free bubble.Resolving to identify the microorganisms causing this transformation, Mazmanian resorted to trial and error. One by one, he added strains of bacteria found in the guts of mice to the guts of germ-free mice.He got nowhere with the first five or six species he examined. Then, simply because it was convenient, he decided to test one more that was readily available in his lab.

Mazmanian’s adviser, Kasper, had been studying a gut microbe called Bacteroides fragilis. When Mazmanian implanted one of Kasper’s specimens into the gut of his germ-free mice, the results were dramatic. The T-cell numbers spiked to normal. Eventually, Mazmanian demonstrated he could reproduce this effect simply by adding a single molecule that these bacteria produce, called polysaccharide A, to their guts.“There was no logic in the choice whatsoever,” Mazmanian recalls.

€œ[B. Fragilis] was available, it came from the gut.” In other words, he got lucky.Mazmanian dug deeper and discovered that the biggest impact B. Fragilis had was on the population of a subtype of helper T-cells called regulatory, or suppressor, T-cells. These cells play a key role in preventing the immune system from attacking its host body, protecting against autoimmune or inflammatory diseases.

It was the first time any scientist had demonstrated that a single compound from a single microbe could reverse a specific problem with the immune system.To Mazmanian, the finding, published in 2005 in the journal Cell, alluded to new approaches to treating a wide array of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic disorders. What if it were possible to help a faulty immune system by tweaking a patient’s microbiome?. It was with this exploration in mind that he arrived in Pasadena in 2006 to set up his lab at Caltech.A Convenient CollaborationA few years later, Mazmanian was having lunch on campus with neuroscientist and colleague Paul Patterson. Patterson had been preoccupied with a mystery that had, for years, confounded those studying autism in humans.

When pregnant mothers have a severe infection in the second trimester, their babies are much more likely to develop autism.As Mazmanian tells it, Patterson was a man of few words, and at lunch Mazmanian was “going on and on” about his own work.“You know,” Patterson interjected thoughtfully, “I think kids with autism have GI issues.”Patterson recalled reading that something like 60 percent of children with autism had some form of clinical GI problem, such as bloating, constipation, flatulence or diarrhea. Was it possible, he wondered, that there was a microbiome connection?. As they talked, Mazmanian’s excitement grew.A few years earlier, Patterson had discovered that when he exposed pregnant mice to pathogens like the influenza virus, they gave birth to pups that grew up more likely to be startled by loud noises, to shy away from social contact and to groom themselves repetitively — symptoms that resemble those of autism. Patterson was in the process of comparing the brains of these autism-mimicking mice with their neurotypical cousins to see if he could detect any differences that might explain how the maternal immune system was somehow interfering with the pups’ brain development.Mazmanian had a suggestion.

The next time Patterson sacrificed one of his autistic mice to study their brains, what if he set the intestines aside for his colleague down the hall?. When the guts arrived in Mazmanian’s lab, he found that the intestines of the neurotypical mice looked normal. But the guts of the autism-mimicking offspring were almost uniformly inflamed. Could it be that the microbiome was the cause of this inflammation?.

And could that, in turn, be somehow connected to the behavioral symptoms?. Throughout the winter and spring of 2012, Mazmanian and Patterson continued their conversation. Mazmanian found distinct differences in the microbiomes of the mice. And, they noticed, the mice with the features of autism had leaky gut syndrome, an increased permeability of the gut lining that can allow pathogens and allergens to leach out.

This condition had also been reported in children with autism.So Mazmanian and Patterson turned their attention outside the gut. They took blood samples to see if any gut microbes, or the compounds they produce, were circulating in the rest of the body. They homed in on one molecule in particular, called 4-ethylphenyl sulfate, which was roughly 45 times as abundant in the mice that had symptoms of autism. And it looked familiar.

Structurally, it was almost identical to a molecule recently found to be significantly elevated in human children with autism.It was enough to take the next step. Every day for three weeks, Mazmanian injected the molecule, harvested from the mice with autism-like symptoms, directly into the bloodstream of 5-week-old normal lab mice (the age at which the autistic mice normally developed leaky gut). Then Mazmanian and his team gave them a series of behavioral tests. The mice were far more easily startled and were less comfortable in large empty spaces than their untreated peers, indications of an increase in anxiety-related behaviors commonly seen in the mice with autism-like symptoms.

The researchers published their results in Cell in 2013.Though surprising, the data made sense in some ways. Many drug companies rely on small-molecule drugs that can be taken orally, but still manage to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect behavior. It seemed entirely possible that small molecules, created by bacteria in the gut, could enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. And they don’t even have to leak out of the gut to do so.Of Mice and MenPatterson died in 2014, at age 70, just six months after the publication of the duo’s groundbreaking Cell paper.

Around the same time, a series of parallel experiments in a clinic hundreds of miles away was already paving the way forward. While Patterson and Mazmanian had been working in mice, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, a microbiologist at Arizona State University, had teamed up with Jim Adams, who directs the university’s autism and Asperger’s research program, to study humans.The researchers were conducting a detailed analysis of the microbiome of human autism patients and found that the bacteria were far less diverse in the children with autism. Notably, several important species involved in the digestion of carbohydrates were severely depleted.Krajmalnik-Brown and Adams launched a preliminary trial to test the effects of fecal transplants on 18 children between the ages of 7 and 16 with severe autism, who also had severe GI issues. The researchers administered powerful antibiotics to kill off the microbiomes of the children and followed them with a bowel cleanse.

They then replaced the microbes with transplanted flora taken from the guts of healthy neurotypical adult volunteers.The results were better than anyone could have expected. The procedure resulted in a large reduction in GI symptoms and increased the diversity of bacteria in the children’s guts. But more significantly, their neurological symptoms were reduced. At the onset of the study in 2017, an independent evaluator found 83 percent of participants had severe autism.

Two years after the initial trial, only 17 percent were rated as severely autistic. And 44 percent were no longer on the autism scale.“[My child] did a complete 180,” says Dana Woods, whose then-7-year-old son Ethan enrolled in the initial study five years ago. €œHis ability to communicate is so much different now. He’s just so much more present.

He’s so much more aware. He’s no longer in occupational therapy. He’s no longer in speech therapy. After the study, he tested two points away from a neurotypical child.”In their first report on the trial in 2017, the team highlighted a number of distinct changes in the microbiome after the transplants, in particular a surge in the populations of three types of bacteria.

Among them was a four-fold increase in Bifidobacterium, a probiotic organism that seems to play a key role in the maintenance of a healthy gut.But figuring out what was happening on a cellular level — to really look inside some guts — would require another vehicle. The ASU team needed Mazmanian’s mice.“At the end of the day, what we care about is healing people and how the microbiome affects people,” explains Krajmalnik-Brown. €œThat’s why we work with people. But with mice you can do things that are more mechanistic.”The Great Mouse Detective(Credit.

Caltech)Together, Krajmalnik-Brown, Mazmanian and their collaborators would uncover some tantalizing new insights that go a long way to solving the mystery. In May 2019, the team published another high-profile paper in Cell, after they transplanted stool samples from Krajmalnik-Brown’s severely autistic patients into the guts of Mazmanian’s germ-free mice. The offspring of these mice showed the autism-like symptoms, such as repetitive and compulsive behavior.This time, the team dug even deeper into the biochemical processes playing out in the brain, looking not just at behavior but at the chemicals involved in creating it. The mice that developed autism-like behaviors had measurably lower levels of two substances called taurine and 5-aminovaleric acid (5AV).

When they dug into the literature, the team learned that these two substances are known to mimic activity of a key signaling agent in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) — a neurotransmitter that other studies have found is deficient in the brains of children with autism.What’s more, some have speculated that the tendency of children with autism to experience sensory overstimulation may stem from the inability to tamp down overexcited neurons. A lack of GABA could lead to just that.The scientists next orally administered high levels of taurine and 5AV to pregnant mice with the autistic children’s microbiomes. When their pups were born, the researchers continued to feed the young the substances until they reached adulthood. Compared with untreated animals, the second-generation mice had significantly fewer behavioral symptoms.

Taurine reduced repetitive behavior, as measured by marble burying, increased the level of social interaction, and relieved anxiety. Mice administered 5AV were more active and social.“We healed humans with behavioral problems,” says Krajmalnik-Brown. €œ[And we] transferred some of those deficits and behaviors to mice — basically the opposite. It’s huge.”Mazmanian hopes to take the next step in the months ahead.“I can flip a switch, turn on a light, I know that switch turns on that light.

I don’t know the circuit, I don’t know where the wire is,” Mazmanian says. €œExactly how that’s happening … we just don’t understand that.”This most recent study, by itself, hardly proves that dysregulated microbiomes cause the brain disorder — a point that plenty of other scientists skeptical of Mazmanian’s work are happy to make.“The paper made a big splash, but trying to model psychiatric-related human conditions in mice, in my view, is a little bit of a stretch,” says Sangram Sisodia, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago who studies the microbiome. €œA mouse with autism?. €Nor was that the only criticism.

Several researchers have suggested that the group didn’t give proper attention to one of their tests ­— one whose results conflicted with their thesis ­— while others found flaws in the statistical methods they used to assess their results. Mazmanian downplays these criticisms, but agrees the work is not yet conclusive.Meanwhile, the ASU trial has also engendered skepticism, mainly due to its tiny sample size, the lack of a control group and the methods by which the children were assessed for autism severity. Krajmalnik-Brown and Adams say they stand by their results, but agree more research is needed. In recent months, they have launched two new studies that will address these issues.Adams insists the work is already changing lives.

€œWe followed up with every one of our 18 participants,” he says, referring to the children who received fecal transplants. €œSure enough, we found that most of the GI benefits had remained. And family after family said their child just slowly, steadily continued making more improvement.” They published the update in Scientific Reports in spring 2019.“I’m not ready to say the case is closed,” says Mazmanian. €œHealthy skepticism is a good thing.

I believe the preclinical data, I believe the mouse data. But there’s a lot of studies that still need to be done.” A Healthy Gut, A New OutlookEthan Woods had GI issues and symptoms of autism until researchers introduced new microbes to his gut. His mother says the treatment changed everything. (Credit.

Dana Woods)Prior to his fecal transplant at age 7, Ethan Woods suffered from chronic and severe diarrhea, constipation and cramping, symptoms so extreme that to his mother, Dana, he sounded like “a bit like a woman in labor when he was trying to have a bowel movement.” “It was just awful watching your child go through this,” she says, explaining that when she enrolled her autistic son in the Arizona State study, her “only goal was to fix his gut.”Remarkably, Ethan’s agony began to disappear just a few weeks into the trial. But that was not the most dramatic difference. Before the transplant, Ethan’s speech was drawn out and slow, his language skills rudimentary. He seemed to live in his own bubble.

He had frequent outbursts. For as long as Dana could remember, her mornings with Ethan had been marked by arguing, fighting, pushing and anger. But then one morning, something shocking happened.“He woke me up one morning with his face right in my face with this big smile and he said, ‘Morning, Mom!. €™â€‰â€ she recalls.

€œAnd he was just excited and happy and ready to go about his day with this big smile. It choked me up to the point where I teared up because I had never experienced a happy kid in the morning.”Later, Ethan carried over an iPad and opened an app with a talking cat that repeats back the words children speak aloud. He played back a video recording of himself from just a few weeks earlier.“[He] looks me in the eye and says, ‘Mom, why did I talk like that?. What is wrong with me?.

€™ And as soon as he did that, I caught my breath. I had to compose myself and say, ‘I don’t know. But do you feel better?. Do you feel different?.

Why do you think?. €™â€‰â€Ethan’s communication skills had already begun to improve. Within a year of the study, his speech therapist graduated him from speech therapy because he had met all his goals.“He went from one end of the rainbow all the way to the other end of the rainbow,” she says. €œPrior to the study, I was very afraid.

My biggest fear was ‘how is he going to navigate the world when I’m not here?. €™ And I think I have a lot of hope now that he is going to be OK now on his own.”There’s something strange about the female orgasm, something that scientists have been unable to explain. Biological functions are normally discussed in terms of evolutionary pressure, or reproductive advantage. If a biological trait improves your chances of having more offspring, then it’s more likely to stick around in your species.

The male orgasm makes perfect sense — ejaculate contains the genetic material that’s necessary for making babies. But the female orgasm has been harder to nail down. Fertilization doesn’t depend on it, and “fun” isn’t exactly in the pantheon of evolutionary explanations.Researchers that study how the female orgasm relates to reproductive success have two main options — either ask people invasive questions about their most personal moments, or to find a way to stick probes in or on them during said moments. Neither of these approaches have resulted in the kind of “wet lab” research that’s the gold standard for biological understanding.What we do know, despite widespread cultural discomfort with talking openly about sex and pleasure, is that there appears to be significant sexual dysfunction in American society.

Back in 2014, researchers from the Kinsey Institute, the preeminent U.S. Academy for the study of sex and relationships, said as much. In a survey of nearly 3,000 people, they found that men, straight or gay, orgasmed 85 percent of the time during consensual sexual encounters. Lesbian women orgasmed less often, 75 percent of the time, while straight women fared worst with just a 60 percent chance of orgasm.

Other studies have shown that something like 10-15 percent of women experience lifelong anorgasmia, meaning they’ve never experienced orgasm. A further 40 percent of women report some kind of inability to reach orgasm in the past year.The orgasm gap is hard to explain. Some think that it comes down to straight men’s finesse, or lack thereof, citing the difference between straight and lesbian satisfaction. Indeed, it makes sense that knowing your way around the territory would help.

But for many couples this isn’t a helpful revelation, since the emotional maturity necessary to teach sexual dexterity is often out of reach. Shortcut to SatisfactionLuckily, we live in an era of Silicon Valley disruption, which has even started lapping at the shores of sex research. Technologist Liz Klinger is at the forefront of this transition. She and her team have built a platform that lets people become citizen scientists of sex —without ever having to get out from between the sheets.About a decade ago, Klinger’s company, Lioness, released what they billed as the first “smart vibrator,” a sex toy that could actually learn about you.

The final product was a far cry from the first prototype, which was much more laboratory object than sex toy.The “test device was this whole mess of wires, with a hard connection. We had to physically send it to our beta testers, who used it and sent it back,” recalls Klinger. The researchers would download the data collected by the toy’s four sensors — temperature, motion, acceleration and pressure — and compile it into a chart that represented arousal and orgasm, as told through the story of pelvic-floor muscle contractions.It was an immediate success for sex partners who needed ways to talk about pleasure in a more objective way. Klinger recalled that when she got the first beta-test couple on the phone, “the wife was like ‘holy crap, we finally were able to talk about these things that I’ve had a lot of trouble talking about.’ It turned out that she wanted more foreplay, and he didn’t know quite that that meant.

He’d spend more time, but it just didn’t match up, you know?. € With the company’s signature offering in hand — a chart of sexual arousal over time — Klinger found that couples could have a conversation “without the subtext of ‘oh, you’re not good enough, or I don’t like you enough,’ on the husband’s part and ‘I’m so tired of talking about this’ on the wife’s part,” she says. The chart “can change people’s perceptions of their own experiences, and how they talk about them with others.”Doing the Deed — For ScienceThis spring, the company has launched a research platform dubbed Lioness 2.0 — a new optional service that, unsurprisingly, their data-obsessed users have greeted with open arms. Now, instead of simply using the toy to understand themselves better, Lioness owners can opt in to the kinds of hands-on studies that are necessary for a deeper understanding of sex and pleasure.

So far, the company is working with Nigeria’s Society for Family Health to study how pleasure changes with menopause across age, race and orientation, as well as with the U.S.’s Center for Genital Health and Education to explore the role of pelvic floor muscles in orgasm.Pani Farvid, a professor of applied psychology at The New School in New York City, has some reservations about the platform. €œI really like what they’re trying to do, but there could be more added to make it a bit more comprehensive. My concern is that there's a misconception that sex is just about the orgasm, that it’s just physiological and that pleasure just has to do with the genitals.” From where she’s sitting, “that’s a very mechanical view of sexuality.” If the Lioness is helping to equalize the orgasm gap, or helping people understand their bodies better, “I think that's great,” says Farvid. €œBut as a critical sexologist, I'm interested in delving deeper into what these practices mean.” If sex is hyper-focused on orgasm, to exclusion of everything else, she cautions that these norms “have real-life negative impacts on people's sex lives and their sense of themselves.”At this point, knee-deep in an era of data collection that was once the sole purview of white-coat-wearing scientists, it’s old news that we need to be careful with what our technology is doing to us.

No tool can serve as a cure-all, even if it comes loaded with a neat app and some space-age sensors. What it can offer, though, is the opportunity to start a conversation, and the chance to take a long, honest look at something about yourself — whether it’s the number of steps you take every day, or the way you want to be touched.Wondering how to keep your glasses from fogging up when your mask is on?. Look no further. If we've learned one thing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it's the importance of wearing a mask.

Countless studies have shown over the past eight months that wearing a protective barrier over your nose and mouth — whether it's a standard-issue surgical mask or an N95 respirator — can significantly decrease the odds of catching and transmitting disease. What's more, some research shows that masking up can reduce the severity of an infection if a masked person does contract COVID-19. But while masks are potentially lifesaving, they can be uncomfortable, often changing your breathing patterns and fogging up your glasses when breath escapes through the top of the mask. Among people who choose not to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many cite discomfort as a key reason why.Wesley Wilson, a tumor immunologist in Pennsylvania, knows how annoying it can be when your glasses are fogging up.

He says fogging is “definitely a problem” among his hospital colleagues, who need to wear protective goggles and surgical masks while on the job. Fortunately, they've also picked up a few helpful hacks for keeping their vision clear while wearing a mask with glasses.#1. Use Tape“If you have to keep your mask on for hours, tape works like a charm,” Wilson says. This especially applies to healthcare professionals in his practice who are required to keep their masks on at all times, except during lunch.

€œIf you're putting on your mask and taking it off a lot, tape probably isn't practical — but two small pieces of tape on the cheeks keep the mask fitted closer to your face, and the hot air out of your glasses,” he says.#2. Fit the Mask to Your FaceWhile some air leakage is to be expected, wearing a mask that fits securely to your face will prevent glass fogging and filter the virus more effectively since less air is coming in or out. Find surgical masks or N95s that come with a nose bridge, a small, flexible piece of metal or plastic that allows the mask to more closely fit the contours of your face. Nose bridges can be sewn inside masks or affixed to the front.Read More.

Why It Feels Like You Can't Breathe Inside Your Face Mask#3. Adjust Your MaskAccording to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a minor adjustment in how you wear your mask could be enough to prevent fog as well. Simply pull the mask over your nose and rest your glasses on top of your face mask. As long as the mask is fitted close to your face, this should prevent hot air from slipping out.#4.

Spray Your GlassesA former ice hockey player, Wilson says the protective visor under his helmet would often fog with hot air while he was on the ice during games. Like an ocean diver, he would use de-misting solution or a defogging spray (such as this one) to keep his visor free of fog. The same concept applies to eyeglass fog caused by masking, he says. €œYou can either buy a spray or you can make your own with either shaving cream or soap and water,” says Wilson.

€œWiping some shaving cream on your glasses and then wiping it off will coat them with a similar surface-tension altering compound that prevents fog.”.

Where should I keep Lioresal?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Lioresal tablete

W-sitting is a normal developmental position that babies usually discover when lioresal tablete they sit back straight from their hands and knees. Their legs will then form a “W.” Often, babies also transition back to a single hip, toward a side sitting position. When a baby varies his or her sitting lioresal tablete position, W-sitting is rarely a problem. However, when a baby sits back straight to a W-sit consistently, they don’t get the opportunity to elongate and activate lateral trunk muscles to develop their core muscles. W-sitting is a very stable position that children find useful, however, it allows them to play without developing muscle that provide the ability for kids to lioresal tablete reach out to their sides or rotate across their midline, leading to underdevelopment of lower trunk muscles, which stabilize the pelvis.

When a child uses this position as their preference without the normal variety in movements, it can affect development. They may demonstrate lioresal tablete an in-toeing gait, core weakness or balance difficulties. The hips are positioned in extreme internal rotation, placing stress on the hips and the knee joints. This can lead to hip and knee orthopedic issues as the child develops. So, what can you do lioresal tablete to prevent any development issues?.

Encourage your child to alternate sitting positions, such as side sitting (alternating sides), ring sitting, or, with older children, sitting in a chair or on a ball. This might be challenging initially, but once your child gets used to it, they may just lioresal tablete need reminders. If it’s difficult for your child to sit in alternate positions or they begin to show other developmental concerns, a referral to a physical therapist may be helpful to facilitate trunk muscle development. Eileen McMahon, M.S.P.T., is a physical therapist at MidMichigan Health.Many athletes have had their baseball season shortened or lioresal tablete cancelled due to COVID-19. This extra rest can be helpful in decreasing stress on the shoulder and elbow joints, but it can also lead to decreased strength and ROM.

Overhead athletes lioresal tablete need to keep their bodies strong, and a great way to achieve that is by performing a regular strengthening program. With many gyms remaining closed or limiting access during social distancing, that can be even more challenging. However, there are many exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment needs. A great program to focus on during the off season is the Thrower’s Ten program that was developed with the lioresal tablete overhead athlete in mind. These exercises focus on the muscle groups that matter most for the overhead athlete.

We use our entire body to throw a ball and the stress on the shoulder to decelerate the arm is lioresal tablete about twice our body weight. Most of this stress gets placed on the rotator cuff and scapular muscles that slow the arm down as we follow through with our throw. Weakness in lioresal tablete these muscles can lead to problems with the shoulder and elbow joints. Common injuries can be Little League shoulder and elbow or strains to the ulnar collateral ligaments (Tommy John). If you have dealt lioresal tablete with pain or injuries in the past, a comprehensive evaluation by a physical therapist (PT) who focuses on treating the overhead athlete can be extremely helpful in identifying areas of concern.

Your PT will evaluate your strength with a dynamometer to look at any significant abnormalities between shoulders. They can also perform a video throwing analysis to look at ways to potentially reduce injury risk and improve performance. This can almost always be achieved with only a couple of visits, and the off season is a great time to start addressing areas of concern to be ready for next lioresal tablete season or throwing during the winter. Your PT can help you develop a customized home exercise program based on your needs. Physical Therapist Kyle Stevenson, D.P.T., sees patients at MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services lioresal tablete location in Greater Midland North-End Fitness Center.

He has a special interest in sports medicine, and enjoys working with athletes of all ages. He has completed specialized lioresal tablete coursework and training for the throwing athletes. New patients are welcome with a physician referral by calling (989) 832-5913. Those who would like more information about MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services may visit www.midmichigan.org/rehabilitation..

W-sitting is a normal developmental position that babies usually discover when they where can i get lioresal sit back straight from their hands and knees. Their legs will then form a “W.” Often, babies also transition back to a single hip, toward a side sitting position. When a baby varies his or her sitting position, W-sitting where can i get lioresal is rarely a problem.

However, when a baby sits back straight to a W-sit consistently, they don’t get the opportunity to elongate and activate lateral trunk muscles to develop their core muscles. W-sitting is a very stable position that children find useful, however, it allows them to play without developing muscle that provide the ability for kids to reach out to their sides or rotate across their midline, leading to underdevelopment where can i get lioresal of lower trunk muscles, which stabilize the pelvis. When a child uses this position as their preference without the normal variety in movements, it can affect development.

They may demonstrate an in-toeing gait, core weakness or balance where can i get lioresal difficulties. The hips are positioned in extreme internal rotation, placing stress on the hips and the knee joints. This can lead to hip and knee orthopedic issues as the child develops.

So, what can you where can i get lioresal do to prevent any development issues?. Encourage your child to alternate sitting positions, such as side sitting (alternating sides), ring sitting, or, with older children, sitting in a chair or on a ball. This might be challenging initially, but where can i get lioresal once your child gets used to it, they may just need reminders.

If it’s difficult for your child to sit in alternate positions or they begin to show other developmental concerns, a referral to a physical therapist may be helpful to facilitate trunk muscle development. Eileen McMahon, M.S.P.T., is a physical where can i get lioresal therapist at MidMichigan Health.Many athletes have had their baseball season shortened or cancelled due to COVID-19. This extra rest can be helpful in decreasing stress on the shoulder and elbow joints, but it can also lead to decreased strength and ROM.

Overhead athletes need to keep their bodies strong, and a where can i get lioresal great way to achieve that is by performing a regular strengthening program. With many gyms remaining closed or limiting access during social distancing, that can be even more challenging. However, there are many exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment needs.

A great program where can i get lioresal to focus on during the off season is the Thrower’s Ten program that was developed with the overhead athlete in mind. These exercises focus on the muscle groups that matter most for the overhead athlete. We use where can i get lioresal our entire body to throw a ball and the stress on the shoulder to decelerate the arm is about twice our body weight.

Most of this stress gets placed on the rotator cuff and scapular muscles that slow the arm down as we follow through with our throw. Weakness in these muscles can lead to problems where can i get lioresal with the shoulder and elbow joints. Common injuries can be Little League shoulder and elbow or strains to the ulnar collateral ligaments (Tommy John).

If you have dealt with pain or injuries in where can i get lioresal the past, a comprehensive evaluation by a physical therapist (PT) who focuses on treating the overhead athlete can be extremely helpful in identifying areas of concern. Your PT will evaluate your strength with a dynamometer to look at any significant abnormalities between shoulders. They can also perform a video throwing analysis to look at ways to potentially reduce injury risk and improve performance.

This can almost always be achieved with only a couple of visits, and the off season is a great time to start addressing areas of concern to be ready for next season where can i get lioresal or throwing during the winter. Your PT can help you develop a customized home exercise program based on your needs. Physical Therapist where can i get lioresal Kyle Stevenson, D.P.T., sees patients at MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services location in Greater Midland North-End Fitness Center.

He has a special interest in sports medicine, and enjoys working with athletes of all ages. He has completed specialized coursework and training where can i get lioresal for the throwing athletes. New patients are welcome with a physician referral by calling (989) 832-5913.

Those who would like more information about MidMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services may visit www.midmichigan.org/rehabilitation..

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Medicare Part D buy lioresal without prescription is a voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare, provided through private plans approved by the federal government. Beneficiaries can choose to enroll in either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) to supplement traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan (MA-PD), mainly HMOs and PPOs, that cover all Medicare benefits including drugs. In 2020, 46 million of the more than 60 million people covered by Medicare buy lioresal without prescription are enrolled in Part D plans. This fact sheet provides an overview of the Medicare Part D program, plan availability, enrollment, and spending and financing, based on data from the Centers for Medicare &.

Medicaid Services (CMS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and other sources.Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Availability in 2021In 2021, 996 PDPs will be offered across the 34 PDP regions buy lioresal without prescription nationwide (excluding the territories). This represents an increase of 48 PDPs from 2020 (a 5% increase) and an increase of 250 plans (a 34% increase) since 2017 (Figure 1).Figure 1. A Total of 996 Medicare Part D Stand-Alone Prescription Drug Plans Will Be buy lioresal without prescription Offered in 2021, a 5% Increase From 2020 and a 33% Increase Since 2017The relatively large increase in the number of PDPs in recent years is likely due to the elimination by CMS of the “meaningful difference” requirement for enhanced benefit PDPs offered by the same organization in the same region. Plans with enhanced benefits can offer a lower deductible, reduced cost sharing, or a higher initial coverage limit.

Previously, PDP sponsors were required to demonstrate that their enhanced PDPs buy lioresal without prescription were meaningfully different in terms of enrollee out-of-pocket costs in order to ensure that plan offerings were more distinct. Between 2018 and 2021, the number of enhanced PDPs has increased by nearly 50%, from 421 to 618, largely due to this policy change.Beneficiaries in each state will have a choice of multiple stand-alone PDPs in 2021, ranging from 25 PDPs in Alaska to 35 PDPs in Texas (see map). In addition, beneficiaries will be able to choose from among multiple MA-PDs offered at the buy lioresal without prescription local level for coverage of their Medicare benefits. New for 2021, beneficiaries in each state will have the option to enroll in a Part D plan participating in the Trump Administration’s new Innovation Center model in which enhanced drug plans cover insulin products at a monthly copayment of $35 in the deductible, initial coverage, and coverage gap phases of the Part D benefit.

Participating plans do not have to buy lioresal without prescription cover all insulin products at the $35 monthly copayment amount, just one of each dosage form (vial, pen) and insulin type (rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting). In 2021, a total of 1,635 Part D plans will participate in this model, which represents just over 30% of both PDPs (310 plans) and MA-PDs (1,325 plans) available in 2021, including plans in the territories. Between 8 and 10 PDPs in each region are participating in the model, buy lioresal without prescription in addition to multiple MA-PDs (see map). Low-Income Subsidy Plan Availability in 2021Beneficiaries with low incomes and modest assets are eligible for assistance with Part D plan premiums and cost sharing.

Through the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program, additional premium and buy lioresal without prescription cost-sharing assistance is available for Part D enrollees with low incomes (less than 150% of poverty, or $19,140 for individuals/$25,860 for married couples in 2020) and modest assets (less than $14,610 for individuals/$29,160 for couples in 2020).In 2021, 259 plans will be available for enrollment of LIS beneficiaries for no premium, 15 more than in 2020 (a 6% increase), and the second year with an increase in the number of benchmark plans since 2018 (Figure 2). Just over one-fourth of PDPs in 2021 (26%) are benchmark plans. Some enrollees have fewer benchmark plan options than others, since benchmark plan buy lioresal without prescription availability varies at the Part D region level. The number of premium-free PDPs in 2021 ranges across states from 5 to 10 plans (see map).

LIS enrollees can select any plan offered in their area, but if they are enrolled in a non-benchmark plan, they may be required to pay some portion of their plan’s monthly premium Figure 2 buy lioresal without prescription. In 2021, 259 Part D Stand-Alone Drug Plans Will Be Available Without a Premium to Enrollees Receiving the Low-Income Subsidy (“Benchmark” Plans)Part D Plan Premiums and Benefits in 2021PremiumsThe 2021 Part D base beneficiary premium – which is based on bids submitted by both PDPs and MA-PDs and is not weighted by enrollment – is $33.06, a modest (1%) increase from 2020. But actual premiums paid by Part D enrollees buy lioresal without prescription vary considerably. For 2021, PDP monthly premiums range from a low of $5.70 for a PDP in Hawaii to a high of $205.30 for a PDP in South Carolina (unweighted by plan enrollment).

Even within a state, PDP premiums can vary. For example, in Florida, monthly premiums buy lioresal without prescription range from $7.30 to $172. In addition to the monthly premium, Part D enrollees with higher incomes ($87,000/individual. $174,000/couple) pay an income-related premium surcharge, ranging from $12.32 to $77.14 per month in 2021 (depending on income).BenefitsThe Part D defined standard benefit has several phases, including a deductible, buy lioresal without prescription an initial coverage phase, a coverage gap phase, and catastrophic coverage.

Between 2020 and 2021, the parameters of the standard benefit are rising, which means Part D enrollees will face higher out-of-pocket costs for the deductible and in the initial coverage phase, as they have in prior years, and will have to pay more out-of-pocket before qualifying for catastrophic coverage (Figure 3).The standard deductible is increasing from $435 in 2020 to $445 in 2021The initial coverage limit is increasing from $4,020 to $4,130, andThe out-of-pocket spending threshold is increasing from $6,350 to $6,550 (equivalent to $10,048 in total drug spending in 2021, up from $9,719 in 2020).The standard benefit amounts are indexed to change annually based on the rate of Part D per capita spending growth, and, with the exception of 2014, have increased each year since 2006.Figure 3. Medicare Part D Standard Benefit Parameters Will Increase in 2021For costs in the coverage gap phase, buy lioresal without prescription beneficiaries pay 25% for both brand-name and generic drugs, with manufacturers providing a 70% discount on brands and plans paying the remaining 5% of brand drug costs, and plans paying the remaining 75% of generic drug costs. For total drug costs above the catastrophic threshold, Medicare pays 80%, plans pay 15%, and enrollees pay either 5% of total drug costs or $3.70/$9.20 for each generic and brand-name drug, respectively.Part D plans must offer either the defined standard benefit or an alternative equal in value (“actuarially equivalent”) and can also provide enhanced benefits. Both basic and enhanced benefit plans vary in terms of buy lioresal without prescription their specific benefit design, coverage, and costs, including deductibles, cost-sharing amounts, utilization management tools (i.e., prior authorization, quantity limits, and step therapy), and formularies (i.e., covered drugs).

Plan formularies must include drug classes covering all disease states, and a minimum of two chemically distinct drugs in each class. Part D plans are required to cover all drugs buy lioresal without prescription in six so-called “protected” classes. Immunosuppressants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals, and antineoplastics.Part D and Low-Income Subsidy EnrollmentEnrollment in Medicare Part D plans is voluntary, with the exception of beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and certain other low-income beneficiaries who are automatically enrolled in a PDP if they do not choose a plan on their own. Unless beneficiaries have drug coverage from another source that is at least as good as standard Part D coverage (“creditable coverage”), buy lioresal without prescription they face a penalty equal to 1% of the national average premium for each month they delay enrollment.In 2020, 46.5 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, including employer-only group plans.

Of the total, just over half (53%) are enrolled in stand-alone PDPs and nearly half (47%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage drug plans (Figure 4). Another 1.3 million beneficiaries are estimated to have drug coverage through employer-sponsored retiree plans where the employer receives buy lioresal without prescription a subsidy from the federal government equal to 28% of drug expenses between $445 and $9,200 per retiree (in 2021). Several million beneficiaries are estimated to have other sources of drug coverage, including employer plans for active workers, FEHBP, TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs (VA). Another 12% of people with Medicare buy lioresal without prescription are estimated to lack creditable drug coverage.Figure 4.

Medicare Part D Enrollment in Stand-Alone Drug Plans Has Declined Recently But Has Increased Steadily in Medicare Advantage Drug PlansAn estimated 13 million Part D enrollees receive the Low-Income Subsidy in 2020. Beneficiaries who are dually buy lioresal without prescription eligible, QMBs, SLMBs, QIs, and SSI-onlys automatically qualify for the additional assistance, and Medicare automatically enrolls them into PDPs with premiums at or below the regional average (the Low-Income Subsidy benchmark) if they do not choose a plan on their own. Other beneficiaries are subject to both an income and asset test and need to apply for the Low-Income Subsidy through either the Social Security Administration or Medicaid.Part D Spending and FinancingPart D SpendingThe Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that spending on Part D benefits will total $96 billion in 2021, representing 13% of net Medicare outlays (net of offsetting receipts from premiums and state transfers). Part D spending depends on several factors, including the total number of Part D enrollees, their health status and drug use, the number of high-cost buy lioresal without prescription enrollees (those with drug spending above the catastrophic threshold), the number of enrollees receiving the Low-Income Subsidy, and plans’ ability to negotiate discounts (rebates) with drug companies and preferred pricing arrangements with pharmacies, and manage use (e.g., promoting use of generic drugs, prior authorization, step therapy, quantity limits, and mail order).

Federal law currently prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from interfering in drug price negotiations between Part D plan sponsors and drug manufacturers.Part D FinancingFinancing for Part D comes from general revenues (71%), beneficiary premiums (16%), and state contributions (12%). The monthly buy lioresal without prescription premium paid by enrollees is set to cover 25.5% of the cost of standard drug coverage. Medicare subsidizes the remaining 74.5%, based on bids submitted by plans for their expected benefit payments. Higher-income Part D enrollees pay a larger share of standard Part D costs, ranging from 35% to 85%, depending on income.Payments to PlansFor 2021, Medicare’s actuaries estimate that Part D plans will receive direct subsidy payments averaging $216 per enrollee overall, $2,639 for enrollees receiving the LIS, and $1,026 in reinsurance payments for very high-cost enrollees.

Employers are expected to receive, on average, buy lioresal without prescription $575 for retirees in employer-subsidy plans. Part D plans also receive additional risk-adjusted payments based on the health status of their enrollees, and plans’ potential total losses or gains are limited by risk-sharing arrangements with the federal government (“risk corridors”).Under reinsurance, Medicare subsidizes 80% of total drug spending incurred by Part D enrollees with relatively high drug spending above the catastrophic coverage threshold. In the aggregate, Medicare’s reinsurance payments to Part D plans now account for close to half of total Part D spending buy lioresal without prescription (45%), up from 14% in 2006 (increasing from $6 billion in 2006 to $46 billion in 2019) (Figure 5). Higher benefit spending above the catastrophic threshold is a result of several factors, including an increase in the number of high-cost drugs, prescription drug price increases, and a change made by the ACA to count the manufacturer discount on the price of brand-name drugs in the coverage gap towards the out-of-pocket threshold for catastrophic coverage.

This change has led to more Part D enrollees with spending above the catastrophic buy lioresal without prescription threshold over time.Figure 5. Spending for Catastrophic Coverage (“Reinsurance”) Now Accounts for Close to Half (45%) of Total Medicare Part D Spending, up from 14% in 2006Issues for the FutureThe Medicare drug benefit has helped to reduce out-of-pocket drug spending for enrollees, which is especially important to those with modest incomes or very high drug costs. But with drug costs on the rise, more buy lioresal without prescription plans charging coinsurance rather than flat copayments for covered brand-name drugs, and annual increases in the out-of-pocket spending threshold, many Part D enrollees are likely to face higher out-of-pocket costs for their medications.In light of ongoing attention to prescription drug spending and rising drug costs, policymakers have issued several proposals to control drug spending by Medicare and beneficiaries. Several of these proposals address concerns about the lack of a hard cap on out-of-pocket spending for Part D enrollees, the significant increase in Medicare spending for enrollees with high drug costs, and the relatively weak financial incentives faced by Part D plan sponsors to control high drug costs.

Such proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs, restructuring the Part D benefit to add a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug spending, requiring manufacturers to pay a rebate to the federal government if their drug prices increase faster than inflation, using drug prices in other countries in determining pricing for drugs in the U.S., allowing for drug importation, and shifting more of the responsibility for catastrophic coverage costs to Part D plans and drug manufacturers.Understanding how well Part D continues to meet the needs of people on Medicare will be informed by ongoing monitoring of the Part D plan marketplace, examining formulary coverage and costs for new and existing medications, assessing the impact of the new insulin model, and keeping tabs on Medicare buy lioresal without prescription beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug spending.The coronavirus pandemic, social distancing, and resulting economic downturn have had considerable implications for the U.S. Health system, including health insurers. The pandemic caused a sizable decrease in the use of health care services during the first buy lioresal without prescription half of 2020, job losses appear to have led to coverage loss in the employer market and increases in Medicaid enrollment, and insurers projecting costs for next year must assess the relative effects of pent-up demand for delayed care, the continuing pandemic, and a potential vaccine.In this brief, we analyze data from 2013 to 2020 to examine how insurance markets performed through the first half of this year as the pandemic developed and worsened in the U.S. We use financial data reported by insurance companies to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and compiled by Mark Farrah Associates to look at average medical loss ratios and gross margins in the individual (also known as non-group), fully-insured group (employer), and Medicare Advantage health insurance markets.

A more detailed description of each market is included in the Appendix.We find that, as of the end of buy lioresal without prescription June 2020, average margins have increased and loss ratios have dropped across the fully-insured group and Medicare Advantage markets, relative to the same time period in 2019. If administrative costs were roughly the same in 2020 as in 2019, these findings suggest higher profits for many insurers during the pandemic. Individual market loss ratios were already quite low buy lioresal without prescription and remained flat into 2020, suggesting continued profitability. The results for the individual and group markets indicate that commercial insurers are on track to owe substantial rebates to consumers again next year under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medical Loss Ratio provision.Gross MarginsOne way to assess insurer financial performance is to examine average gross margins per member per month, or the average amount by which premium income exceeds claims costs per enrollee in a given month.

Gross margins are an indicator of performance, but positive buy lioresal without prescription margins do not necessarily translate into profitability since they do not account for administrative expenses. However, a sharp increase in margins from one year to the next, without a commensurate increase in administrative costs, would indicate that these health insurance markets have become more profitable during the pandemic.Despite many insurers covering the full cost of coronavirus testing and treatment for their enrollees, insurers across most markets have seen their claims costs fall, and margins increase since the start of the pandemic, and relative to 2019. This is consistent with the sharp drop in utilization documented in other analyses.Gross margins among buy lioresal without prescription group market plans increased 22% (or $20 pmpm) through the second quarter of 2020 relative to the same period in 2019. Gross margins among Medicare Advantage plans also increased, rising 41% (or $64 pmpm) through the first six months of 2020 compared to gross margins at the same point last year.

(Gross margins per member per buy lioresal without prescription month tend to be higher for Medicare Advantage than for the other health insurance markets mainly because Medicare covers an older, sicker population with higher average costs). Prior to the pandemic, margins in the group and Medicare Advantage markets had grown gradually over recent years.Figure 1. Average Gross Margins Per Member Per Month Through June, 2013 – 2020​Individual market margins have been more volatile than the other private markets since the early years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as described in more depth in our earlier analyses of individual market financial performance buy lioresal without prescription. Individual market margins remained relatively stable through the first six months of 2020, decreasing just $4 per member per month, and remaining much higher than in the earlier years of the ACA.

These data suggest that insurers in the individual market remain financially healthy after a year and a half with no individual mandate penalty, even while the coronavirus outbreak worsened.Medical Loss RatiosAnother way to assess insurer financial performance is to look at medical loss ratios, which are the percent of premium income that insurers pay out in the form of medical claims. Generally, lower medical loss ratios mean that insurers have more income remaining, after paying medical costs, to use for buy lioresal without prescription administrative costs or keep as profits. Each health insurance market has different administrative needs and costs, so low loss ratios in one market do not necessarily mean that market is more profitable than another market. However, in a given market, if administrative costs hold mostly constant from one year to the next, a drop in loss ratios would imply that plans are becoming more profitable.Medical loss ratios are used in state and federal insurance regulation buy lioresal without prescription in a variety of ways.

In the commercial insurance (individual and group) markets, insurers must issue rebates to individuals and businesses if their loss ratios fail to reach minimum standards set by the ACA. Medicare Advantage buy lioresal without prescription insurers are required to report loss ratios at the contract level. They are also required to issue rebates to the federal government if they fall short of 85%, and are subject to additional penalties if they fail to meet loss ratio requirements for multiple consecutive years in a row.The loss ratios shown in this issue brief differ from the definition of MLR in the ACA, which makes some adjustments for quality improvement and taxes, and do not account for reinsurance, risk corridors, or risk adjustment payments. The chart below shows simple medical loss ratios, or buy lioresal without prescription the share of premium income that insurers pay out in claims, without any modifications (Figure 2).

Loss ratios in the Medicare Advantage market decreased 5 percentage points through the first six months of 2020 relative to the same period in 2019, and group market loss ratios decreased by an average of 3 percentage points relative to last year.Figure 2. Average Medical Loss Ratios Through June, 2013 – 2020​The individual market was the buy lioresal without prescription only market in which average loss ratios held steady from last year. Even so, loss ratios in the individual market were already quite low and insurers in that market are issuing record-large rebates to consumers based in part on their 2019 experience.DiscussionAlthough we cannot measure profits directly, all signs suggest that health insurers in most markets have become more profitable so far during the pandemic. Medicare Advantage and group health plans saw rising margins and falling buy lioresal without prescription loss ratios through June 2020, relative to the same time last year.

In contrast, margins and loss ratios among individual market insurers have generally remained flat through the second quarter compared to the same time last year, though insurers in this market already had high margins and low loss ratios last year.That insurers appear to be becoming more profitable during a pandemic may be counter-intuitive. Insurers were generally required to cover COVID-19 testing costs, and many also buy lioresal without prescription voluntarily covered the full cost of COVID-19 treatment for a period of time (see for example, announcements from UnitedHealthcare, CVSHealth (Aetna), and Cigna). Even with these increased pandemic-related expenses, though, many insurers saw claims costs fall as enrollees delayed or went without other types of health care due to social distancing restrictions, cancelation of elective procedures, or out of fear of contracting the virus. Job losses and economic instability may also affect health care utilization.The buy lioresal without prescription drop in utilization that has contributed to higher gross margins and lower medical loss ratios presents uncertainty and challenges for insurers, particularly given the unknown trajectory of the pandemic.

For Medicare Advantage insurers, these trends may result in plans offering more benefits than they currently do, which are popular and attract enrollees. But if insurers fall short in meeting required loss ratio requirements for multiple years, they face additional penalties, including the possibility of being terminated buy lioresal without prescription. In the individual and group markets, insurers are reporting pandemic-related uncertainty as they set premiums for next year, and insurers are making different assumptions about the extent to which utilization will rebound or health costs will change due to factors like the potential for widespread vaccination.Unless these patterns change substantially in late 2020, ACA medical loss ratio rebates in 2021 likely will be exceptionally large across commercial markets. Rebates to buy lioresal without prescription consumers are calculated using a three-year average of medical loss ratios, meaning that 2021 rebates will be based on insurer performance in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

In the individual market in particular, insurers were quite profitable in 2018 and 2019, so even if 2020 turns out to be a more average year, these insurers will likely owe large rebates to consumers. Group market insurers may also owe larger rebates to employers and employees than plans buy lioresal without prescription have in typical years, as loss ratios have dropped substantially. This may, in part, explain why many commercial insurers have volunteered to cover COVID-19 treatment costs, waived telemedicine cost-sharing, or expanded mental health services during the pandemic. By increasing their claims costs, insurers can proactively increase loss ratios and owe smaller rebates next year..

Medicare Part D is a voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare, provided through private plans approved by the federal government where can i get lioresal. Beneficiaries can choose to enroll in either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) to supplement traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan (MA-PD), mainly HMOs and PPOs, that cover all Medicare benefits including drugs. In 2020, 46 million of the more than 60 million people covered by Medicare are enrolled in Part D where can i get lioresal plans. This fact sheet provides an overview of the Medicare Part D program, plan availability, enrollment, and spending and financing, based on data from the Centers for Medicare &.

Medicaid Services where can i get lioresal (CMS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and other sources.Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Availability in 2021In 2021, 996 PDPs will be offered across the 34 PDP regions nationwide (excluding the territories). This represents an increase of 48 PDPs from 2020 (a 5% increase) and an increase of 250 plans (a 34% increase) since 2017 (Figure 1).Figure 1. A Total of 996 Medicare Part D Stand-Alone Prescription Drug Plans Will Be Offered in 2021, a 5% Increase From 2020 where can i get lioresal and a 33% Increase Since 2017The relatively large increase in the number of PDPs in recent years is likely due to the elimination by CMS of the “meaningful difference” requirement for enhanced benefit PDPs offered by the same organization in the same region. Plans with enhanced benefits can offer a lower deductible, reduced cost sharing, or a higher initial coverage limit.

Previously, PDP sponsors were required to demonstrate that their enhanced PDPs were meaningfully where can i get lioresal different in terms of enrollee out-of-pocket costs in order to ensure that plan offerings were more distinct. Between 2018 and 2021, the number of enhanced PDPs has increased by nearly 50%, from 421 to 618, largely due to this policy change.Beneficiaries in each state will have a choice of multiple stand-alone PDPs in 2021, ranging from 25 PDPs in Alaska to 35 PDPs in Texas (see map). In addition, beneficiaries will be able to choose from among multiple where can i get lioresal MA-PDs offered at the local level for coverage of their Medicare benefits. New for 2021, beneficiaries in each state will have the option to enroll in a Part D plan participating in the Trump Administration’s new Innovation Center model in which enhanced drug plans cover insulin products at a monthly copayment of $35 in the deductible, initial coverage, and coverage gap phases of the Part D benefit.

Participating plans do not have to cover all insulin products at the $35 monthly copayment amount, just one of each dosage form (vial, pen) and insulin where can i get lioresal type (rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting). In 2021, a total of 1,635 Part D plans will participate in this model, which represents just over 30% of both PDPs (310 plans) and MA-PDs (1,325 plans) available in 2021, including plans in the territories. Between 8 and 10 PDPs in each region are participating in the model, in where can i get lioresal addition to multiple MA-PDs (see map). Low-Income Subsidy Plan Availability in 2021Beneficiaries with low incomes and modest assets are eligible for assistance with Part D plan premiums and cost sharing.

Through the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program, additional premium and cost-sharing assistance is available for Part D enrollees with low incomes where can i get lioresal (less than 150% of poverty, or $19,140 for individuals/$25,860 for married couples in 2020) and modest assets (less than $14,610 for individuals/$29,160 for couples in 2020).In 2021, 259 plans will be available for enrollment of LIS beneficiaries for no premium, 15 more than in 2020 (a 6% increase), and the second year with an increase in the number of benchmark plans since 2018 (Figure 2). Just over one-fourth of PDPs in 2021 (26%) are benchmark plans. Some enrollees have where can i get lioresal fewer benchmark plan options than others, since benchmark plan availability varies at the Part D region level. The number of premium-free PDPs in 2021 ranges across states from 5 to 10 plans (see map).

LIS enrollees can select any plan offered in their area, but if they are enrolled in where can i get lioresal a non-benchmark plan, they may be required to pay some portion of their plan’s monthly premium Figure 2. In 2021, 259 Part D Stand-Alone Drug Plans Will Be Available Without a Premium to Enrollees Receiving the Low-Income Subsidy (“Benchmark” Plans)Part D Plan Premiums and Benefits in 2021PremiumsThe 2021 Part D base beneficiary premium – which is based on bids submitted by both PDPs and MA-PDs and is not weighted by enrollment – is $33.06, a modest (1%) increase from 2020. But actual where can i get lioresal premiums paid by Part D enrollees vary considerably. For 2021, PDP monthly premiums range from a low of $5.70 for a PDP in Hawaii to a high of $205.30 for a PDP in South Carolina (unweighted by plan enrollment).

Even within a state, PDP premiums can vary. For example, in Florida, monthly premiums range from $7.30 where can i get lioresal to $172. In addition to the monthly premium, Part D enrollees with higher incomes ($87,000/individual. $174,000/couple) pay an income-related premium surcharge, ranging from $12.32 to $77.14 per month in 2021 (depending on income).BenefitsThe where can i get lioresal Part D defined standard benefit has several phases, including a deductible, an initial coverage phase, a coverage gap phase, and catastrophic coverage.

Between 2020 and 2021, the parameters of the standard benefit are rising, which means Part D enrollees will face higher out-of-pocket costs for the deductible and in the initial coverage phase, as they have in prior years, and will have to pay more out-of-pocket before qualifying for catastrophic coverage (Figure 3).The standard deductible is increasing from $435 in 2020 to $445 in 2021The initial coverage limit is increasing from $4,020 to $4,130, andThe out-of-pocket spending threshold is increasing from $6,350 to $6,550 (equivalent to $10,048 in total drug spending in 2021, up from $9,719 in 2020).The standard benefit amounts are indexed to change annually based on the rate of Part D per capita spending growth, and, with the exception of 2014, have increased each year since 2006.Figure 3. Medicare Part D Standard Benefit Parameters Will Increase in 2021For where can i get lioresal costs in the coverage gap phase, beneficiaries pay 25% for both brand-name and generic drugs, with manufacturers providing a 70% discount on brands and plans paying the remaining 5% of brand drug costs, and plans paying the remaining 75% of generic drug costs. For total drug costs above the catastrophic threshold, Medicare pays 80%, plans pay 15%, and enrollees pay either 5% of total drug costs or $3.70/$9.20 for each generic and brand-name drug, respectively.Part D plans must offer either the defined standard benefit or an alternative equal in value (“actuarially equivalent”) and can also provide enhanced benefits. Both basic and enhanced benefit plans vary in terms of their specific benefit design, coverage, and costs, including deductibles, cost-sharing amounts, utilization management tools (i.e., prior authorization, quantity limits, and step therapy), where can i get lioresal and formularies (i.e., covered drugs).

Plan formularies must include drug classes covering all disease states, and a minimum of two chemically distinct drugs in each class. Part D plans are required to cover all where can i get lioresal drugs in six so-called “protected” classes. Immunosuppressants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals, and antineoplastics.Part D and Low-Income Subsidy EnrollmentEnrollment in Medicare Part D plans is voluntary, with the exception of beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and certain other low-income beneficiaries who are automatically enrolled in a PDP if they do not choose a plan on their own. Unless beneficiaries have drug coverage from another source that is at least as good as standard Part D coverage (“creditable coverage”), they face a penalty equal to 1% of the national average premium for each month where can i get lioresal they delay enrollment.In 2020, 46.5 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, including employer-only group plans.

Of the total, just over half (53%) are enrolled in stand-alone PDPs and nearly half (47%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage drug plans (Figure 4). Another 1.3 million beneficiaries are estimated to have drug coverage through employer-sponsored retiree plans where where can i get lioresal the employer receives a subsidy from the federal government equal to 28% of drug expenses between $445 and $9,200 per retiree (in 2021). Several million beneficiaries are estimated to have other sources of drug coverage, including employer plans for active workers, FEHBP, TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs (VA). Another 12% of people with where can i get lioresal Medicare are estimated to lack creditable drug coverage.Figure 4.

Medicare Part D Enrollment in Stand-Alone Drug Plans Has Declined Recently But Has Increased Steadily in Medicare Advantage Drug PlansAn estimated 13 million Part D enrollees receive the Low-Income Subsidy in 2020. Beneficiaries who are dually eligible, QMBs, SLMBs, QIs, and SSI-onlys where can i get lioresal automatically qualify for the additional assistance, and Medicare automatically enrolls them into PDPs with premiums at or below the regional average (the Low-Income Subsidy benchmark) if they do not choose a plan on their own. Other beneficiaries are subject to both an income and asset test and need to apply for the Low-Income Subsidy through either the Social Security Administration or Medicaid.Part D Spending and FinancingPart D SpendingThe Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that spending on Part D benefits will total $96 billion in 2021, representing 13% of net Medicare outlays (net of offsetting receipts from premiums and state transfers). Part D spending depends on several factors, including the total number of Part D enrollees, their health status and drug use, the number of high-cost enrollees (those with drug spending above the catastrophic threshold), the number of enrollees receiving the Low-Income Subsidy, and plans’ ability to negotiate discounts (rebates) with drug companies and preferred pricing arrangements with pharmacies, and manage where can i get lioresal use (e.g., promoting use of generic drugs, prior authorization, step therapy, quantity limits, and mail order).

Federal law currently prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from interfering in drug price negotiations between Part D plan sponsors and drug manufacturers.Part D FinancingFinancing for Part D comes from general revenues (71%), beneficiary premiums (16%), and state contributions (12%). The monthly premium paid by enrollees where can i get lioresal is set to cover 25.5% of the cost of standard drug coverage. Medicare subsidizes the remaining 74.5%, based on bids submitted by plans for their expected benefit payments. Higher-income Part D enrollees pay a larger share of standard Part D costs, ranging from 35% to 85%, depending on income.Payments to PlansFor 2021, Medicare’s actuaries estimate that Part D plans will receive direct subsidy payments averaging $216 per enrollee overall, $2,639 for enrollees receiving the LIS, and $1,026 in reinsurance payments for very high-cost enrollees.

Employers are expected where can i get lioresal to receive, on average, $575 for retirees in employer-subsidy plans. Part D plans also receive additional risk-adjusted payments based on the health status of their enrollees, and plans’ potential total losses or gains are limited by risk-sharing arrangements with the federal government (“risk corridors”).Under reinsurance, Medicare subsidizes 80% of total drug spending incurred by Part D enrollees with relatively high drug spending above the catastrophic coverage threshold. In the aggregate, Medicare’s reinsurance payments to Part D plans now account for close to half of total Part D spending (45%), up from 14% in 2006 (increasing where can i get lioresal from $6 billion in 2006 to $46 billion in 2019) (Figure 5). Higher benefit spending above the catastrophic threshold is a result of several factors, including an increase in the number of high-cost drugs, prescription drug price increases, and a change made by the ACA to count the manufacturer discount on the price of brand-name drugs in the coverage gap towards the out-of-pocket threshold for catastrophic coverage.

This change has led to more Part D enrollees with spending above where can i get lioresal the catastrophic threshold over time.Figure 5. Spending for Catastrophic Coverage (“Reinsurance”) Now Accounts for Close to Half (45%) of Total Medicare Part D Spending, up from 14% in 2006Issues for the FutureThe Medicare drug benefit has helped to reduce out-of-pocket drug spending for enrollees, which is especially important to those with modest incomes or very high drug costs. But with drug costs on the rise, more plans charging coinsurance rather than flat copayments for covered brand-name drugs, and annual increases in the out-of-pocket spending threshold, many Part D enrollees are likely to face higher out-of-pocket costs for where can i get lioresal their medications.In light of ongoing attention to prescription drug spending and rising drug costs, policymakers have issued several proposals to control drug spending by Medicare and beneficiaries. Several of these proposals address concerns about the lack of a hard cap on out-of-pocket spending for Part D enrollees, the significant increase in Medicare spending for enrollees with high drug costs, and the relatively weak financial incentives faced by Part D plan sponsors to control high drug costs.

Such proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs, restructuring the Part D benefit to add a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug spending, requiring manufacturers to pay a rebate to the federal government if their drug prices increase faster than inflation, using drug prices in other countries in determining pricing for drugs in the U.S., allowing for drug importation, and shifting more of the responsibility for catastrophic coverage costs to Part D plans and drug manufacturers.Understanding how well Part D continues to meet the needs of people on Medicare will be informed by ongoing monitoring of the Part D plan marketplace, examining formulary where can i get lioresal coverage and costs for new and existing medications, assessing the impact of the new insulin model, and keeping tabs on Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug spending.The coronavirus pandemic, social distancing, and resulting economic downturn have had considerable implications for the U.S. Health system, including health insurers. The pandemic caused a sizable decrease in the use of health care services during the first half of 2020, job losses appear to have led to coverage loss in the employer market and increases in Medicaid enrollment, and insurers projecting costs for next year must assess the relative effects of pent-up demand for delayed care, the continuing pandemic, and a potential vaccine.In this brief, we analyze data from 2013 to 2020 to examine how insurance markets performed through the first half of this year as the pandemic developed and worsened in the where can i get lioresal U.S. We use financial data reported by insurance companies to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and compiled by Mark Farrah Associates to look at average medical loss ratios and gross margins in the individual (also known as non-group), fully-insured group (employer), and Medicare Advantage health insurance markets.

A more detailed description of each market is included in the Appendix.We find that, as of the end of June 2020, average margins have increased and loss ratios have dropped across the fully-insured where can i get lioresal group and Medicare Advantage markets, relative to the same time period in 2019. If administrative costs were roughly the same in 2020 as in 2019, these findings suggest higher profits for many insurers during the pandemic. Individual market loss ratios were already quite low and remained flat where can i get lioresal into 2020, suggesting continued profitability. The results for the individual and group markets indicate that commercial insurers are on track to owe substantial rebates to consumers again next year under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medical Loss Ratio provision.Gross MarginsOne way to assess insurer financial performance is to examine average gross margins per member per month, or the average amount by which premium income exceeds claims costs per enrollee in a given month.

Gross margins are an indicator of performance, but positive margins where can i get lioresal do not necessarily translate into profitability since they do not account for administrative expenses. However, a sharp increase in margins from one year to the next, without a commensurate increase in administrative costs, would indicate that these health insurance markets have become more profitable during the pandemic.Despite many insurers covering the full cost of coronavirus testing and treatment for their enrollees, insurers across most markets have seen their claims costs fall, and margins increase since the start of the pandemic, and relative to 2019. This is consistent with the sharp drop where can i get lioresal in utilization documented in other analyses.Gross margins among group market plans increased 22% (or $20 pmpm) through the second quarter of 2020 relative to the same period in 2019. Gross margins among Medicare Advantage plans also increased, rising 41% (or $64 pmpm) through the first six months of 2020 compared to gross margins at the same point last year.

(Gross margins where can i get lioresal per member per month tend to be higher for Medicare Advantage than for the other health insurance markets mainly because Medicare covers an older, sicker population with higher average costs). Prior to the pandemic, margins in the group and Medicare Advantage markets had grown gradually over recent years.Figure 1. Average Gross Margins Per Member Per Month Through June, 2013 – 2020​Individual market margins have where can i get lioresal been more volatile than the other private markets since the early years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as described in more depth in our earlier analyses of individual market financial performance. Individual market margins remained relatively stable through the first six months of 2020, decreasing just $4 per member per month, and remaining much higher than in the earlier years of the ACA.

These data suggest that insurers in the individual market remain financially healthy after a year and a half with no individual mandate penalty, even while the coronavirus outbreak worsened.Medical Loss RatiosAnother way to assess insurer financial performance is to look at medical loss ratios, which are the percent of premium income that insurers pay out in the form of medical claims. Generally, lower medical loss ratios mean that insurers have more income remaining, after paying medical costs, to use for administrative costs or keep as profits where can i get lioresal. Each health insurance market has different administrative needs and costs, so low loss ratios in one market do not necessarily mean that market is more profitable than another market. However, in a given market, if administrative costs hold mostly constant from one year to the next, a drop in loss ratios would imply that plans are becoming more profitable.Medical loss ratios are used where can i get lioresal in state and federal insurance regulation in a variety of ways.

In the commercial insurance (individual and group) markets, insurers must issue rebates to individuals and businesses if their loss ratios fail to reach minimum standards set by the ACA. Medicare Advantage insurers where can i get lioresal are required to report loss ratios at the contract level. They are also required to issue rebates to the federal government if they fall short of 85%, and are subject to additional penalties if they fail to meet loss ratio requirements for multiple consecutive years in a row.The loss ratios shown in this issue brief differ from the definition of MLR in the ACA, which makes some adjustments for quality improvement and taxes, and do not account for reinsurance, risk corridors, or risk adjustment payments. The chart below shows simple medical loss ratios, or the share of premium income that insurers pay out in claims, without where can i get lioresal any modifications (Figure 2).

Loss ratios in the Medicare Advantage market decreased 5 percentage points through the first six months of 2020 relative to the same period in 2019, and group market loss ratios decreased by an average of 3 percentage points relative to last year.Figure 2. Average Medical Loss Ratios Through June, 2013 – 2020​The individual market was the only market in which average loss ratios held steady from last year where can i get lioresal. Even so, loss ratios in the individual market were already quite low and insurers in that market are issuing record-large rebates to consumers based in part on their 2019 experience.DiscussionAlthough we cannot measure profits directly, all signs suggest that health insurers in most markets have become more profitable so far during the pandemic. Medicare Advantage and group health plans saw where can i get lioresal rising margins and falling loss ratios through June 2020, relative to the same time last year.

In contrast, margins and loss ratios among individual market insurers have generally remained flat through the second quarter compared to the same time last year, though insurers in this market already had high margins and low loss ratios last year.That insurers appear to be becoming more profitable during a pandemic may be counter-intuitive. Insurers were generally required to cover COVID-19 testing costs, and where can i get lioresal many also voluntarily covered the full cost of COVID-19 treatment for a period of time (see for example, announcements from UnitedHealthcare, CVSHealth (Aetna), and Cigna). Even with these increased pandemic-related expenses, though, many insurers saw claims costs fall as enrollees delayed or went without other types of health care due to social distancing restrictions, cancelation of elective procedures, or out of fear of contracting the virus. Job losses and economic instability may also where can i get lioresal affect health care utilization.The drop in utilization that has contributed to higher gross margins and lower medical loss ratios presents uncertainty and challenges for insurers, particularly given the unknown trajectory of the pandemic.

For Medicare Advantage insurers, these trends may result in plans offering more benefits than they currently do, which are popular and attract enrollees. But if insurers where can i get lioresal fall short in meeting required loss ratio requirements for multiple years, they face additional penalties, including the possibility of being terminated. In the individual and group markets, insurers are reporting pandemic-related uncertainty as they set premiums for next year, and insurers are making different assumptions about the extent to which utilization will rebound or health costs will change due to factors like the potential for widespread vaccination.Unless these patterns change substantially in late 2020, ACA medical loss ratio rebates in 2021 likely will be exceptionally large across commercial markets. Rebates to consumers are calculated using a three-year average of medical loss ratios, meaning that 2021 rebates will be based on where can i get lioresal insurer performance in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

In the individual market in particular, insurers were quite profitable in 2018 and 2019, so even if 2020 turns out to be a more average year, these insurers will likely owe large rebates to consumers. Group market insurers may also owe larger rebates to where can i get lioresal employers and employees than plans have in typical years, as loss ratios have dropped substantially. This may, in part, explain why many commercial insurers have volunteered to cover COVID-19 treatment costs, waived telemedicine cost-sharing, or expanded mental health services during the pandemic. By increasing their claims costs, insurers can proactively increase loss ratios and owe smaller rebates next year..

Lioresal intrathecal

Before that date, people enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan obtained all of their health care through the plan, but used their regular Medicaid card to access any drug available on the state formulary on lioresal intrathecal a "fee for service" basis without needing to utilize a restricted pharmacy network or comply with managed care plan rules. COMING IN April 2021 - In the NYS Budget enacted in April 2020, the pharmacy benefit was "carved out" of "mainstream" Medicaid managed care plans. That means that members of managed care plans will access their drugs outside their plan, unlike the rest of their medical care, which is accessed from in-network providers. How Prescription Drugs are Obtained through Managed Care plans No - Until April 2020 HOW DO MANAGED CARE PLANS DEFINE THE PHARMACY lioresal intrathecal BENEFIT FOR CONSUMERS?.

The Medicaid pharmacy benefit includes all FDA approved prescription drugs, as well as some over-the-counter drugs and medical supplies. Under Medicaid managed care. Plan lioresal intrathecal formularies will be comparable to but not the same as the Medicaid formulary. Managed care plans are required to have drug formularies that are “comparable” to the Medicaid fee for service formulary.

Plan formularies do not have to include all drugs covered listed on the fee for service formulary, but they must include generic or therapeutic equivalents of all Medicaid covered drugs. The Pharmacy Benefit will lioresal intrathecal vary by plan. Each plan will have its own formulary and drug coverage policies like prior authorization and step therapy. Pharmacy networks can also differ from plan to plan.

Prescriber Prevails applies in certain drug lioresal intrathecal classes. Prescriber prevails applys to medically necessary precription drugs in the following classes. atypical antipsychotics, anti-depressants, anti-retrovirals, anti-rejection, seizure, epilepsy, endocrine, hemotologic and immunologic therapeutics. Prescribers will need lioresal intrathecal to demonstrate reasonable profession judgment and supply plans witht requested information and/or clinical documentation.

Pharmacy Benefit Information Website -- http://mmcdruginformation.nysdoh.suny.edu/-- This website provides very helpful information on a plan by plan basis regarding pharmacy networks and drug formularies. The Department of Health plans to build capacity for interactive searches allowing for comparison of coverage across plans in the near future. Standardized Prior Autorization (PA) Form -- The Department of Health worked with managed care plans, lioresal intrathecal provider organizations and other state agencies to develop a standard prior authorization form for the pharmacy benefit in Medicaid managed care. The form will be posted on the Pharmacy Information Website in July of 2013.

Mail Order Drugs -- Medicaid managed care members can obtain mail order/specialty drugs at any retail network pharmacy, as long as that retail network pharmacy agrees to a price that is comparable to the mail order/specialty pharmacy price. CAN CONSUMERS lioresal intrathecal SWITCH PLANS IN ORDER TO GAIN ACCESS TO DRUGS?. Changing plans is often an effective strategy for consumers eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare (dual eligibles) who receive their pharmacy service through Medicare Part D, because dual eligibles are allowed to switch plans at any time. Medicaid consumers will have this option only in the limited circumstances during the first year of enrollment in managed care.

Medicaid managed care enrollees can only leave and join another plan within the first 90 lioresal intrathecal days of joining a health plan. After the 90 days has expired, enrollees are “locked in” to the plan for the rest of the year. Consumers can switch plans during the “lock in” period only for good cause. The pharmacy benefit changes are not considered good lioresal intrathecal cause.

After the first 12 months of enrollment, Medicaid managed care enrollees can switch plans at any time. STEPS CONSUMERS CAN TAKE WHEN A MANAGED CARE PLAM DENIES ACCESS TO A NECESSARY DRUG As a first step, consumers should try to work with their providers to satisfy plan requirements for prior authorization or step therapy or any other utilization control requirements. If the plan still denies access, consumers can pursue review processes specific to managed care while at the same time pursuing lioresal intrathecal a fair hearing. All plans are required to maintain an internal and external review process for complaints and appeals of service denials.

Some plans may develop special procedures for drug denials. Information on these procedures should be provided in lioresal intrathecal member handbooks. Beginning April 1, 2018, Medicaid managed care enrollees whose plan denies prior approval of a prescription drug, or discontinues a drug that had been approved, will receive an Initial Adverse Determination notice from the plan - See Model Denial IAD Notice and IAD Notice to Reduce, Suspend or Stop Services The enrollee must first request an internal Plan Appeal and wait for the Plan's decision. An adverse decision is called a 'FInal Adverse Determination" or FAD.

See model Denial FAD Notice and FAD Notice to Reduce, Suspend lioresal intrathecal or Stop Services. The enroll has the right to request a fair hearing to appeal an FAD. The enrollee may only request a fair hearing BEFORE receiving the FAD if the plan fails to send the FAD in the required time limit, which is 30 calendar days in standard appeals, and 72 hours in expedited appeals. The plan lioresal intrathecal may extend the time to decide both standard and expedited appeals by up to 14 days if more information is needed and it is in the enrollee's interest.

AID CONTINUING -- If an enrollee requests a Plan Appeal and then a fair hearing because access to a drug has been reduced or terminated, the enrollee has the right to aid continuing (continued access to the drug in question) while waiting for the Plan Appeal and then the fair hearing. The enrollee must request the Plan Appeal and then the Fair Hearing before the effective date of the IAD and FAD notices, which is a very short time - only 10 days including mailing time. See more about the changes in lioresal intrathecal Managed Care appeals here. Even though that article is focused on Managed Long Term Care, the new appeals requirements also apply to Mainstream Medicaid managed care.

Enrollees who are in the first 90 days of enrollment, or past the first 12 months of enrollment also have the option of switching plans to improve access to their medications. Consumers who experience problems with lioresal intrathecal access to prescription drugs should always file a complaint with the State Department of Health’s Managed Care Hotline, number listed below. ACCESSING MEDICAID'S PHARMACY BENEFIT IN FEE FOR SERVICE MEDICAID For those Medicaid recipients who are not yet in a Medicaid Managed Care program, and who do not have Medicare Part D, the Medicaid Pharmacy program covers most of their prescription drugs and select non-prescription drugs and medical supplies for Family Health Plus enrollees. Certain drugs/drug categories require the prescribers to obtain prior authorization.

These include brand name drugs that have a generic alternative under New York's mandatory generic drug program or prescribed drugs that are not on New York's lioresal intrathecal preferred drug list. The full Medicaid formulary can be searched on the eMedNY website. Even in fee for service Medicaid, prescribers must obtain prior authorization before prescribing non-preferred drugs unless otherwise indicated. Prior authorization is required for original prescriptions, not refills lioresal intrathecal.

A prior authorization is effective for the original dispensing and up to five refills of that prescription within the next six months. Click here for more information on NY's prior authorization process. The New York State Board of Pharmacy publishes an annual list of the 150 most frequently prescribed drugs, lioresal intrathecal in the most common quantities. The State Department of Health collects retail price information on these drugs from pharmacies that participate in the Medicaid program.

Click here to search for a specific drug from the most frequently prescribed drug list and this site can also provide you with the locations of pharmacies that provide this drug as well as their costs. Click here to view New York State Medicaid’s Pharmacy Provider Manual lioresal intrathecal. WHO YOU CAN CALL FOR HELP Community Health Advocates Hotline. 1-888-614-5400 NY State Department of Health's Managed Care Hotline.

1-800-206-8125 (Mon lioresal intrathecal. - Fri. 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) NY State Department of Insurance. 1-800-400-8882 NY lioresal intrathecal State Attorney General's Health Care Bureau.

1-800-771-7755Haitian individuals and immigrants from some other countries who have applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may be eligible for public health insurance in New York State. 2019 updates - The Trump administration has taken steps to end TPS status. Two courts have temporarily enjoined lioresal intrathecal the termination of TPS, one in New York State in April 2019 and one in California in October 2018. The California case was argued in an appeals court on August 14, 2019, which the LA Times reported looked likely to uphold the federal action ending TPS.

See US Immigration Website on TPS - General TPS website with links to status in all countries, including HAITI. See also Pew Research March 2019 article lioresal intrathecal. Courts Block Changes in Public charge rule- See updates on the Public Charge rule here, blocked by federal court injunctions in October 2019. Read more about this change in public charge rules here.

What is lioresal intrathecal Temporary Protected Status?. TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible individuals of a certain country designated by the Department of Homeland Security because serious temporary conditions in that country, such as armed conflict or environmental disaster, prevents people from that country to return safely. On January 21, 2010 the United States determined that individuals from Haiti warranted TPS because of the devastating earthquake that occurred there on January 12. TPS gives undocumented Haitian residents, lioresal intrathecal who were living in the U.S.

On January 12, 2010, protection from forcible deportation and allows them to work legally. It is important to note that the U.S. Grants TPS to individuals from other countries, as lioresal intrathecal well, including individuals from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia and Sudan. TPS and Public Health Insurance TPS applicants residing in New York are eligible for Medicaid and Family Health Plus as long as they also meet the income requirements for these programs.

In New York, applicants for TPS are considered PRUCOL immigrants (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) for purposes of medical assistance eligibility and thus meet the immigration status requirements for Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and the Family Planning Benefit Program. Nearly all children lioresal intrathecal in New York remain eligible for Child Health Plus including TPS applicants and children who lack immigration status. For more information on immigrant eligibility for public health insurance in New York see 08 GIS MA/009 and the attached chart. Where to Apply What to BringIndividuals who have applied for TPS will need to bring several documents to prove their eligibility for public health insurance.

Individuals will need to bring lioresal intrathecal. 1) Proof of identity. 2) Proof of residence in New York. 3) Proof of lioresal intrathecal income.

4) Proof of application for TPS. 5) Proof that U.S. Citizenship and lioresal intrathecal Immigration Services (USCIS) has received the application for TPS. Free Communication Assistance All applicants for public health insurance, including Haitian Creole speakers, have a right to get help in a language they can understand.

All Medicaid offices and enrollers are required to offer free translation and interpretation services to anyone who cannot communicate effectively in English. A bilingual worker or an interpreter, whether in-person or over the telephone, must be provided in all interactions with the office. Important documents, such as Medicaid applications, should be translated either orally or in writing. Interpreter services must be offered free of charge, and applicants requiring interpreter services must not be made to wait unreasonably longer than English speaking applicants.

An applicant must never be asked to bring their own interpreter. Related Resources on TPS and Public Health Insurance o The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) has compiled a list of agencies, law firms, and law schools responding to the tragedy in Haiti and the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status. A copy of the list is posted at the NYIC’s website at http://www.thenyic.org. o USCIS TPS website with links to status in all countries, including HAITI.

O For information on eligibility for public health insurance programs call The Legal Aid Society’s Benefits Hotline 1-888-663-6880 Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 9:30 am - 12:30 pm FOR IMMIGRATION HELP. CONTACT THE New York State New Americans Hotline for a referral to an organization to advise you. 212-419-3737 Monday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m.

To 8:00 p.m.Saturday-Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. To 5:00 p.m. Or call toll-free in New York State at 1-800-566-7636 Please see these fact sheets and web sites of national organizations for more information about the new PUBLIC CHARGE rules. Printable Fact Sheets for Distribution This article was co-authored by the New York Immigration Coalition, Empire Justice Center and the Health Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society.

COMING IN April 2021 - In the NYS Budget enacted where can i get lioresal in April 2020, the pharmacy benefit was "carved out" of "mainstream" Medicaid managed care plans. That means that members of managed care plans will access their drugs outside their plan, unlike the rest of their medical care, which is accessed from in-network providers. How Prescription Drugs are Obtained through Managed Care plans No - Until April 2020 HOW DO MANAGED CARE PLANS DEFINE THE PHARMACY BENEFIT FOR CONSUMERS?. The Medicaid pharmacy benefit includes where can i get lioresal all FDA approved prescription drugs, as well as some over-the-counter drugs and medical supplies.

Under Medicaid managed care. Plan formularies will be comparable to but not the same as the Medicaid formulary. Managed care plans are required to where can i get lioresal have drug formularies that are “comparable” to the Medicaid fee for service formulary. Plan formularies do not have to include all drugs covered listed on the fee for service formulary, but they must include generic or therapeutic equivalents of all Medicaid covered drugs.

The Pharmacy Benefit will vary by plan. Each plan will have its own formulary and drug coverage policies like prior authorization and where can i get lioresal step therapy. Pharmacy networks can also differ from plan to plan. Prescriber Prevails applies in certain drug classes.

Prescriber prevails applys to medically necessary precription drugs in the following where can i get lioresal classes. atypical antipsychotics, anti-depressants, anti-retrovirals, anti-rejection, seizure, epilepsy, endocrine, hemotologic and immunologic therapeutics. Prescribers will need to demonstrate reasonable profession judgment and supply plans witht requested information and/or clinical documentation. Pharmacy Benefit Information Website -- http://mmcdruginformation.nysdoh.suny.edu/-- This website provides very helpful information on a plan by plan basis regarding pharmacy networks where can i get lioresal and drug formularies.

The Department of Health plans to build capacity for interactive searches allowing for comparison of coverage across plans in the near future. Standardized Prior Autorization (PA) Form -- The Department of Health worked with managed care plans, provider organizations and other state agencies to develop a standard prior authorization form for the pharmacy benefit in Medicaid managed care. The form will be posted where can i get lioresal on the Pharmacy Information Website in July of 2013. Mail Order Drugs -- Medicaid managed care members can obtain mail order/specialty drugs at any retail network pharmacy, as long as that retail network pharmacy agrees to a price that is comparable to the mail order/specialty pharmacy price.

CAN CONSUMERS SWITCH PLANS IN ORDER TO GAIN ACCESS TO DRUGS?. Changing plans is often an effective strategy for consumers eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare (dual eligibles) who where can i get lioresal receive their pharmacy service through Medicare Part D, because dual eligibles are allowed to switch plans at any time. Medicaid consumers will have this option only in the limited circumstances during the first year of enrollment in managed care. Medicaid managed care enrollees can only leave and join another plan within the first 90 days of joining a health plan.

After the 90 days has expired, enrollees are “locked in” where can i get lioresal to the plan for the rest of the year. Consumers can switch plans during the “lock in” period only for good cause. The pharmacy benefit changes are not considered good cause. After the first 12 months of enrollment, Medicaid managed care enrollees where can i get lioresal can switch plans at any time.

STEPS CONSUMERS CAN TAKE WHEN A MANAGED CARE PLAM DENIES ACCESS TO A NECESSARY DRUG As a first step, consumers should try to work with their providers to satisfy plan requirements for prior authorization or step therapy or any other utilization control requirements. If the plan still denies access, consumers can pursue review processes specific to managed care while at the same time pursuing a fair hearing. All plans are required to maintain where can i get lioresal an internal and external review process for complaints and appeals of service denials. Some plans may develop special procedures for drug denials.

Information on these procedures should be provided in member handbooks. Beginning April 1, 2018, Medicaid managed care enrollees whose plan denies prior approval of a prescription drug, or discontinues a drug that had been approved, will receive an Initial Adverse Determination notice from the plan - See Model Denial where can i get lioresal IAD Notice and IAD Notice to Reduce, Suspend or Stop Services The enrollee must first request an internal Plan Appeal and wait for the Plan's decision. An adverse decision is called a 'FInal Adverse Determination" or FAD. See model Denial FAD Notice and FAD Notice to Reduce, Suspend or Stop Services.

The enroll has the right to request a where can i get lioresal fair hearing to appeal an FAD. The enrollee may only request a fair hearing BEFORE receiving the FAD if the plan fails to send the FAD in the required time limit, which is 30 calendar days in standard appeals, and 72 hours in expedited appeals. The plan may extend the time to decide both standard and expedited appeals by up to 14 days if more information is needed and it is in the enrollee's interest. AID CONTINUING -- If an enrollee requests a Plan Appeal and then a fair hearing because access to a drug has been reduced or terminated, the enrollee has the right to aid continuing (continued access to the drug in question) while waiting for the Plan Appeal and then the fair where can i get lioresal hearing.

The enrollee must request the Plan Appeal and then the Fair Hearing before the effective date of the IAD and FAD notices, which is a very short time - only 10 days including mailing time. See more about the changes in Managed Care appeals here. Even though that article is focused on Managed Long Term Care, where can i get lioresal the new appeals requirements also apply to Mainstream Medicaid managed care. Enrollees who are in the first 90 days of enrollment, or past the first 12 months of enrollment also have the option of switching plans to improve access to their medications.

Consumers who experience problems with access to prescription drugs should always file a complaint with the State Department of Health’s Managed Care Hotline, number listed below. ACCESSING MEDICAID'S PHARMACY BENEFIT IN FEE FOR SERVICE MEDICAID For those Medicaid recipients who are not yet in a Medicaid Managed Care program, and who do not have Medicare Part D, the Medicaid Pharmacy program covers most of their prescription drugs and select non-prescription drugs where can i get lioresal and medical supplies for Family Health Plus enrollees. Certain drugs/drug categories require the prescribers to obtain prior authorization. These include brand name drugs that have a generic alternative under New York's mandatory generic drug program or prescribed drugs that are not on New York's preferred drug list.

The full Medicaid formulary can be where can i get lioresal searched on the eMedNY website. Even in fee for service Medicaid, prescribers must obtain prior authorization before prescribing non-preferred drugs unless otherwise indicated. Prior authorization is required for original prescriptions, not refills. A prior authorization is effective for the original dispensing and up to five refills of that prescription within the next where can i get lioresal six months.

Click here for more information on NY's prior authorization process. The New York State Board of Pharmacy publishes an annual list of the 150 most frequently prescribed drugs, in the most common quantities. The State where can i get lioresal Department of Health collects retail price information on these drugs from pharmacies that participate in the Medicaid program. Click here to search for a specific drug from the most frequently prescribed drug list and this site can also provide you with the locations of pharmacies that provide this drug as well as their costs.

Click here to view New York State Medicaid’s Pharmacy Provider Manual. WHO YOU CAN CALL FOR HELP Community Health Advocates where can i get lioresal Hotline. 1-888-614-5400 NY State Department of Health's Managed Care Hotline. 1-800-206-8125 (Mon.

- Fri where can i get lioresal. 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) NY State Department of Insurance. 1-800-400-8882 NY State Attorney General's Health Care Bureau. 1-800-771-7755Haitian individuals and immigrants from some other where can i get lioresal countries who have applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may be eligible for public health insurance in New York State.

2019 updates - The Trump administration has taken steps to end TPS status. Two courts have temporarily enjoined the termination of TPS, one in New York State in April 2019 and one in California in October 2018. The California case was argued in an appeals where can i get lioresal court on August 14, 2019, which the LA Times reported looked likely to uphold the federal action ending TPS. See US Immigration Website on TPS - General TPS website with links to status in all countries, including HAITI.

See also Pew Research March 2019 article. Courts Block where can i get lioresal Changes in Public charge rule- See updates on the Public Charge rule here, blocked by federal court injunctions in October 2019. Read more about this change in public charge rules here. What is Temporary Protected Status?.

TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible individuals of a certain country designated by the Department of Homeland Security because serious temporary conditions in where can i get lioresal that country, such as armed conflict or environmental disaster, prevents people from that country to return safely. On January 21, 2010 the United States determined that individuals from Haiti warranted TPS because of the devastating earthquake that occurred there on January 12. TPS gives undocumented Haitian residents, who were living in the U.S. On January 12, 2010, protection from forcible deportation and where can i get lioresal allows them to work legally.

It is important to note that the U.S. Grants TPS to individuals from other countries, as well, including individuals from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia and Sudan. TPS and Public Health Insurance TPS applicants residing in where can i get lioresal New York are eligible for Medicaid and Family Health Plus as long as they also meet the income requirements for these programs. In New York, applicants for TPS are considered PRUCOL immigrants (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) for purposes of medical assistance eligibility and thus meet the immigration status requirements for Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and the Family Planning Benefit Program.

Nearly all children in New York remain eligible for Child Health Plus including TPS applicants and children who lack immigration status. For more information on immigrant eligibility for public health insurance in New York see 08 where can i get lioresal GIS MA/009 and the attached chart. Where to Apply What to BringIndividuals who have applied for TPS will need to bring several documents to prove their eligibility for public health insurance. Individuals will need to bring.

1) Proof of identity where can i get lioresal. 2) Proof of residence in New York. 3) Proof of income. 4) Proof where can i get lioresal of application for TPS.

5) Proof that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received the application for TPS. Free Communication Assistance All where can i get lioresal applicants for public health insurance, including Haitian Creole speakers, have a right to get help in a language they can understand. All Medicaid offices and enrollers are required to offer free translation and interpretation services to anyone who cannot communicate effectively in English.

A bilingual worker or an interpreter, whether in-person or over the telephone, must be provided in all interactions with the office. Important documents, such as where can i get lioresal Medicaid applications, should be translated either orally or in writing. Interpreter services must be offered free of charge, and applicants requiring interpreter services must not be made to wait unreasonably longer than English speaking applicants. An applicant must never be asked to bring their own interpreter.

Related Resources on TPS and Public Health Insurance o The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) where can i get lioresal has compiled a list of agencies, law firms, and law schools responding to the tragedy in Haiti and the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status. A copy of the list is posted at the NYIC’s website at http://www.thenyic.org. o USCIS TPS website with links to status in all countries, including HAITI. O For information on eligibility for public health insurance programs call The where can i get lioresal Legal Aid Society’s Benefits Hotline 1-888-663-6880 Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

9:30 am - 12:30 pm FOR IMMIGRATION HELP. CONTACT THE New York State New Americans Hotline for a referral to an organization to advise you. 212-419-3737 Monday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m. To 8:00 p.m.Saturday-Sunday, from 9:00 a.m.

To 5:00 p.m. Or call toll-free in New York State at 1-800-566-7636 Please see these fact sheets and web sites of national organizations for more information about the new PUBLIC CHARGE rules. Printable Fact Sheets for Distribution This article was co-authored by the New York Immigration Coalition, Empire Justice Center and the Health Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society. 1/29/10, updated 3/1/10, updated 8/15/19 by NY Legal Assistance Group.

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Overview of key findings Mental health-related issues Among adults, 19% had mild or greater anxiety symptoms, 20% had mild or greater depression symptoms and buy lioresal with free samples 39% had mild or greater somatic symptoms (such as pain and shortness of breath) in the four weeks before being surveyed. Women had higher rates of anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms than men. Among children, boys (11%) had a higher rate of being likely to have emotional or behavioural problems than girls (6%). After adjusting for age and gender, Māori adults were 1.1 times as likely to have mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (than buy lioresal with free samples non-Māori adults) and Māori children were 1.5 times as likely to have emotional or behavioural problems (than non-Māori children). For both adults and children, those who were living in more socioeconomically deprived neighbourhoods had higher rates of mental health-related issues.

Risk of problematic substance use 32% of adults in New Zealand had a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use. This was largely due to moderate buy lioresal with free samples or high risk of problematic tobacco use (20%. Which includes ex-smokers) and moderate or high risk of problematic alcohol use (15%). The rate of men with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use was higher (36%) than buy lioresal with free samples that of women (27%). Adults living in the most deprived neighborhoods were 1.5 times as likely to have a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use than adults living in the least deprived neighborhoods, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity.

Moderate or high risk of problematic substance use was higher among adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (38%) than the general adult population. Use of health services and other informal help for mental health and substance use In the year before being surveyed, 36% of adults had used some type of help (eg, health services, the internet, talking to family/whānau) buy lioresal with free samples for their mental health or substance use. The most commonly reported types of help used by adults were complementary and alternative therapies (21%), help from primary care or medication (14%), using the internet to find out about symptoms (12%), counsellors, psychologists and helplines (9%) and talking to family, whānau or friends (9%). 30% of all families had used help (including informal help) for their child’s emotions, behaviours, stress, mental health or substance use. Help was sought from a wide variety of sources including using the internet to find out about symptoms (11%), primary care or medication (10%), complementary and alternative therapies (9%), teachers (9%), buy lioresal with free samples counsellors, psychologists and helplines (9%) and family, whānau or friends (8%).

Adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (53%) and adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use (46%) were more likely to use help than the general adult population. Children who were likely to have emotional buy lioresal with free samples or behavioural problems (68%) were more likely to use help than the general child population. Generally, women were more likely to report using help than men (41% vs 31%), however there was no significant difference in families using help for boys and girls. Pacific and Asian adults and children were less likely than non-Pacific and non-Asian adults and children to have used help. Māori children and buy lioresal with free samples their families were more likely to have used help than non-Māori children and their families.

Among adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms and adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use, younger adults (aged 15–24 years) were more likely to use help than older adults (aged 75+ years). There was a trend across deprivation quintiles, with lower rates of using help in more deprived neighbourhoods for both adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms and children who were likely to have emotional or behavioural problems (but not for adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use). Unmet need for professional help for mental health and substance use About 1 in 20 adults and children reported an unmet need for professional help for their emotions, stress, mental health or substance use in the year buy lioresal with free samples before being surveyed. Unmet need for professional help for mental health or substance use was higher for adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (10%) and adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use (8%) than for the general adult population. Adults aged 75+ years were less likely to report an unmet need for professional help for mental health or substance use than younger adults (aged 15–24 years), both for adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (1.8% and 17%, respectively) and for adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use (0.6% and 15%, respectively)..

The Mental Health Data Explorer presents survey results on mental health status, risk where can i get lioresal of problematic substance use, loneliness, informal help-seeking and access to mental health and addictions services for both adults and children. Results are available by gender, age group, ethnic group and neighbourhood deprivation. Use our Mental Health Data Explorer to see results where can i get lioresal from the mental health module of the 2016/17 New Zealand Health Survey or to download the published data as a .csv file. The 2016/17 mental health module included three internationally used tools to assess mental health and substance use. These tools are.

ASSIST – The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) is a screening tool that asks about the use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabinoids and other psychoactive where can i get lioresal substances. The screening test gives insight into problematic substance use including dependence and the risk of harm currently or in the future. PHQ-SADS – The Patient Health Questionnaire. Somatic, Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms (PHQ-SADS) screens for the presence and severity of depression, anxiety, and somatic where can i get lioresal symptoms (such as pain and shortness of breath). SDQ – The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) examines emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems and prosocial behaviours in children, and has been validated internationally to screen for mental health problems in children and adolescents.

Overview of key findings Mental health-related issues Among adults, 19% had mild or greater anxiety symptoms, 20% had mild or greater depression symptoms and 39% had mild or greater somatic symptoms (such as pain and shortness where can i get lioresal of breath) in the four weeks before being surveyed. Women had higher rates of anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms than men. Among children, boys (11%) had a higher rate of being likely to have emotional or behavioural problems than girls (6%). After adjusting for age and gender, Māori adults were 1.1 times as likely to have mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (than non-Māori adults) and Māori children were 1.5 times as likely to have emotional or behavioural problems (than non-Māori where can i get lioresal children). For both adults and children, those who were living in more socioeconomically deprived neighbourhoods had higher rates of mental health-related issues.

Risk of problematic substance use 32% of adults in New Zealand had a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use. This was largely due to moderate or high where can i get lioresal risk of problematic tobacco use (20%. Which includes ex-smokers) and moderate or high risk of problematic alcohol use (15%). The rate of men with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance where can i get lioresal use was higher (36%) than that of women (27%). Adults living in the most deprived neighborhoods were 1.5 times as likely to have a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use than adults living in the least deprived neighborhoods, after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity.

Moderate or high risk of problematic substance use was higher among adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (38%) than the general adult population. Use of health services and other informal help for mental health and substance use In the year before being surveyed, 36% of where can i get lioresal adults had used some type of help (eg, health services, the internet, talking to family/whānau) for their mental health or substance use. The most commonly reported types of help used by adults were complementary and alternative therapies (21%), help from primary care or medication (14%), using the internet to find out about symptoms (12%), counsellors, psychologists and helplines (9%) and talking to family, whānau or friends (9%). 30% of all families had used help (including informal help) for their child’s emotions, behaviours, stress, mental health or substance use. Help was sought where can i get lioresal from a wide variety of sources including using the internet to find out about symptoms (11%), primary care or medication (10%), complementary and alternative therapies (9%), teachers (9%), counsellors, psychologists and helplines (9%) and family, whānau or friends (8%).

Adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (53%) and adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use (46%) were more likely to use help than the general adult population. Children who were likely to have emotional or behavioural problems (68%) were more likely to use help than the general child where can i get lioresal population. Generally, women were more likely to report using help than men (41% vs 31%), however there was no significant difference in families using help for boys and girls. Pacific and Asian adults and children were less likely than non-Pacific and non-Asian adults and children to have used help. Māori children and their families were where can i get lioresal more likely to have used help than non-Māori children and their families.

Among adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms and adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use, younger adults (aged 15–24 years) were more likely to use help than older adults (aged 75+ years). There was a trend across deprivation quintiles, with lower rates of using help in more deprived neighbourhoods for both adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms and children who were likely to have emotional or behavioural problems (but not for adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use). Unmet need for professional help for mental health and substance use About 1 in 20 adults and children reported an unmet need for professional help for their emotions, stress, mental health or substance use in the where can i get lioresal year before being surveyed. Unmet need for professional help for mental health or substance use was higher for adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (10%) and adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use (8%) than for the general adult population. Adults aged 75+ years were less likely to report an unmet need for professional help for mental health or substance use than younger adults (aged 15–24 years), both for adults with mild or greater anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms (1.8% and 17%, respectively) and for adults with a moderate or high risk of problematic substance use (0.6% and 15%, respectively)..

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An engineer shows an experimental vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus that was tested at the Quality Control Laboratory at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing.Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty ImagesLONDON — The U.K.'s health minister on Wednesday rushed to defend AstraZeneca's decision to pause a closely-watched coronavirus vaccine trial due to safety concerns, saying that the decision is not necessarily a setback where can i get lioresal to its development.AstraZeneca announced Tuesday that the pause was due to a potentially unexplained illness in one of its trials. The pharma giant's shares fell more than 6% in after-hours trading Tuesday and its London-listed shares slipped 0.4% as European markets opened on Wednesday."It is obviously a challenge to this particular vaccine," Matt Hancock told Sky News when asked about the pause in the trial."It's not actually the first time that it's happened to the Oxford vaccine and it's a standard process in clinical trials whenever they find where can i get lioresal something that they need to investigate," he added.Asked whether it would set back attempts to find a Covid-19 vaccine, he said. "Not necessarily, it depends on what they find when they do the investigation."AstraZeneca told CNBC in a statement Tuesday that the pause "is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials."It said it was trying to expedite the review to "minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline.""We are committed to the safety of our participants and the where can i get lioresal highest standards of conduct in our trials," the company said. Analysts from Jefferies equity research said in a note Wednesday that they "envisage a short-term stock correction which may prove misplaced.""Temporary pauses in dosing of subjects is standard clinical trial practice and given the expedited path where can i get lioresal into Phase III (trials) for AZN/Oxford Uni Covid-19 vaccine AZD1222, we believe it is not surprising a serious adverse event triggered a study halt to investigate if drug-related."AstraZeneca began its trial late last month and is one of three companies currently in late-stage testing for a potential vaccine.

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